An Indian student who had been missing in the US was confirmed dead by university authorities on Tuesday, a day after his mother had taken to social media to request informatio about his whereabouts.
Neel Acharya, a computer science and data science student at Purdue University in Indiana State, had been missing since January 28, as per a post on X (formerly Twitter) by his mother Goury Acharya. “Our son Neel Acharya is missing since yesterday Jan 28 (12.30 am EST). He is studying in Purdue University in the US. He was last seen by the Uber driver who dropped him off in Purdue University. We are looking for any info on him. Please help us if you know anything,” she wrote on January 29.
The Consulate General of India in Chicago had replied to her post, saying, “Consulate is in touch with Purdue University authorities and also with Neel’s family. Consulate will extend all possible support and help.”
In a statement on its website, Purdue University said that Acharya was confirmed dead, without divulging the cause of death. It said that a “college-aged” man matching Acharya’s description and carrying his ID was found dead near the Maurice J Zucrow Laboratories on the campus at about 10.30 am on Sunday.
Acharya was a double major in computer science and data science in John Martinson
Honors College, according to the university post. His LinkedIn profile, now memorialised, shows that he was earlier a student of St Mary’s School,Pune. A friend described Acharya as a “loving, charismatic soul, and will be cherished by all of us.”
The university said that its computer science department interim head, Chris Clifton, had shared the news with the students and faculty in an email on Monday. “It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our students, Neel Acharya, has passed away,” Clifton wrote, as per the university statement. Terming Acharya a “driven individual and academically talented,” Clifton wrote, “My condolences go out to his friends, family, and all affected.”
Acharya’s death comes days after the death of another Indian student, who was brutally killed with repeated blows from a hammer by a homeless man inside a store in Lithonia, Georgia, US.