The Bryn Mawr family of missing Brown University student, Sunil Tripathi, responded this morning to wild, fast-spreading and inaccurate speculation overnight by people who questioned whether their son was linked to the Boston bombings.
"Unequivocally, we have known that neither individual suspected as responsible for the incident in Boston was Sunil," said Akhil Tripathi, his father, in a statement.
The family had to shut down the Facebook page overnight because they were overwhelmed with inquiries, according to the statement.
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This posting now appears at the top of that Facebook page:
"A tremendous and painful amount of attention has been cast on our beloved Sunil Tripathi in the past twelve hours. We have known unequivocally all along that neither individual suspected as responsible for the Boston Marathong bombings was Sunil. . .Now more than ever our greatest strength comes from your enduring support. We thank all of you who have reached out to our family and ask that you continue to raise awareness and to help us find our gentle, loving and thoughtful Sunil."
Sunil's older sister, Sangeeta, said the family has re-activated the Facebook page and redoubled efforts to find the 22-year-old. He has been missing since March 16 and investigators believe that surveillance video they have may show Tripathi leaving his apartment in Providence, Rhode Island around 1:30 that morning.
Sunil struggles with depression and early on in the investigation, police said they found a note in his apartment but no one from the law enforcement side or the family has said what exactly was in the note.
"It was a very short note that was very vague and not conclusive," Sangeeta said in the days following his disappearance. But Sangersaid her brother had been acting normal in the weeks and days before, althought he was going through a "tough time," she said. On the last day he was heard from, Friday, March 15, Sunil had tea with a friend, talked to his grandmother on the phone, texted with an aunt and his mother.
"All of those people felt nothing remarkable different was happening," Sangeeta said. The next day, Saturday, she texted him and didn't hear back.
Sunil had been on leave this semester from the Ivy League school but continued to live in Providence with some classmates, according to Sangeeta.
The search for Tripathi has been extensive over the last month, not just in the Providence area, but in our area where he grew up, in Boston, Connecticut and New York.
His family and close friends released a video earlier this month, pleading with Sunil to come home.
"Sunil has a kind, gentle soul, and all family and friends wish is that he is found safe and well," Sangeeta said.