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Indian Student Found Dead On University of Illinois Campus In US, Signs of Hypothermia Observed On Skin

Akul Dhawan was found dead on January 20 on the campus of University of Illinois. An autopsy was performed on January 23, and the preliminary findings showed no evidence of significant trauma.

Published: January 26, 2024 8:52 AM IST

By Analiza Pathak | Edited by Analiza Pathak

Indian Student Found Dead On University of Illinois Campus In US, Signs of Hypothermia Observed On Skin
Indian Student Found Dead On University of Illinois Campus In US, Signs of Hypothermia Observed On Skin

Chicago: A 18-year-old student from the University of Illinois was found dead on campus on Saturday. The undergrad, identified as Akul B. Dhawan by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office, became the subject of a search after his roommate alerted the university police about his disappearance, a search that began around 1:23 a.m. but didn’t end until his body was found at around 11:08 a.m on the back porch of a building on campus, according to NBC Chicago.

Police said a university employee later found Dhawan dead on the back porch of a building in the 1200 block of West Nevada Street around 11 a.m. Preliminary information suggests that there was no foul play involved, and the death is initially believed to be accidental, police said. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. However, signs of hypothermia were observed on Dhawan’s skin.

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The University of Illinois Police have initiated an investigation into the incident and are awaiting toxicology reports to determine the cause of Dhawan’s death. While authorities believe it was an accidental death, they have stated that this assessment may change based on further details.

In a conversation with?TOI, the deceased student’s father said, “Akul’s friends who lost touch with him worried he would freeze to death since he was not wearing a coat. He called the police from the venue where they were and waited half an hour for the police to arrive. Nobody came to help look for him at his last known location. He was found dead, less than half a block away from where he was last seen.”

He further said, “We are heartbroken by the event and requested the vice chancellor’s office about their search and rescue procedures and if they were followed in Akul’s case. The Vice-chancellor told us to file a complaint with the police. When we asked police they sent us a form to fill out but no formal complaint forms.”

New details on Akul Dhawan’s death

According to the Coroner, Dhawan was found deceased on January 20, 2024 in the 1200 Block of West Nevada Street, Urbana, Illinois, around 11:00 a.m.?Dhawan had been reported missing to University of Illinois Police just before 1:30 a.m. on January 20, 2024. An autopsy was performed on January 23, and the preliminary findings showed no evidence of significant trauma.

The Coroner found evidence of hypothermic skin changes, and the final autopsy report is pending toxicology studies. No further information will be released pending the final determination of the cause and manner of death by the Champaign County Coroner.

Meanwhile, the Police has urged anyone with relevant details to contact UIPD at 217-333-1216 or Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477.

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