crimesider

Harsha Maddula Update: Northwestern Univ. student's death ruled an accidental drowning

A desperate search is underway for Harsha Maddula, a missing Northwestern University student, who was last seen around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday after he left a party. Maddula, a sophomore at the McCormick School of Engineering, was at the party with a group of about 10 friends. Some of them left to possibly go to another party but Maddula disappeared. He is seen here in an undated personal photo. Personal photo

Harsha Maddula
Personal photo

(CBS) EVANSTON, Ill. - Harsha Maddula, the Northwestern University student whose body was found in a harbor near the school's suburban Chicago campus, died as a result of an accidental drowning, the Cook County medical examiner's office said on Friday afternoon.

PICTURES: Body of missing Northwestern student found

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the medical examiner's office had no additional information about the circumstances surrounding Maddula's death.

Maddula's family made a statement on Friday morning that they do not believe their son killed himself or that his disappearance was related to a rare form of diabetes that he had.

"There is no reason to believe that Harsha was suicidal or that this had anything to do with his diabetic condition," family spokeswoman and friend Padma Sonti said in a statement to reporters.

Maddula, a biomedical student from New York, was discovered floating in the harbor between two boats by a man fishing off a pier near Sheridan Road bridge. His cellphone was in his pocket along with his wallet and a college ID that confirmed the 18-year-old sophomore's identity.

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro also issued a statement, extending the school's "deepest sympathies" to Maddula's family.

"The loss of one member of the Northwestern community deeply affects us all," Schapiro said.

Crimesider's complete coverage of Harsha Maddula

  • Jacqueline Alemany

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.