A body found in the Providence River on Tuesday in Rhode Island may belong to missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, the man who social media falsely accused of being involved in the Boston bombings last week.
Sunil Tripathi has been missing since March 16. Accusations that he was a suspect in the Boston Bombing began last week after visitors to a Facebook page dedicated to helping find him began to suspect he was involved. Media sites later apologized after the FBI named the actual two suspects in the bombing.
But Tripathi has remained missing, with little new evidence introduced into the case until now. Investigators believe that a body found in the Providence River on Tuesday could be that of the 22-year-old Brown student.
Providence police Lieutenant Joseph Donnelly said Tuesday night that "'it's very, very possible' that the body could be Tripathi's," according to Boston.com. Authorities will not be certain, though, until the medical examiner's office has identified the body.
Originally from Radnor, Pa., Sunil went missing from his Providence apartment last month. His wallet and cell phone were left behind and no one has heard from him since. His father, who is of Indian origin, and his mother, an American, have both shown concern, but neither suspected their son was involved in the attack.
"A tremendous and painful amount of attention has been cast on our beloved Sunil Tripathi in the past twelve hours," the parents said in a Facebook post after the false accusations were made. "We have known unequivocally all along that neither individual suspected as responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings was Sunil."
His sister also described Sunil as a gentle person.
"The joke in our family has always been that whenever there is a little bug in our house, he picks it up and puts it outside because he doesn't want to hurt the bug," Sangeeta Tripath told India Ink last week.