Northwestern Student's Family Searches For Answers

"Something is there. We don't know what."

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Harsha Maddula

    Family members of a Northwestern University student whose body was found Thursday in Wilmette Harbor said they're not done investigating the teen's death.

    "Harsha was extremely intelligent, brave and kind," said family friend Padma Sonti in a statement to reporters. "He arrived early to help with incoming freshman."

    Maddula Family: We Need to Find Answers

    [CHI] Family of Missing Northwestern Student: We Need to Find Answers
    The family of missing Northwestern Student Harsha Maddula, whose body was found in Wilmette Harbor, held a press conference Friday afternoon asking for student with information to come forward. (Published Friday, Sep 28, 2012)

    Harsha Maddula, 18, vanished after leaving a party near his campus residence hall early Saturday morning. After six days of searching, his body was found shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday near a bridge on Sheridan Road.

    Sonti on Friday thanked authorities for their help in the search, as well as Northwestern and the school's students for their support.

    Northwestern Spokesman Announces Discovery of Body

    [CHI] Northwestern Spokesman Announces Discovery of Body
    Northwestern University spokesman Alan Cubbage speaks to reporters after the body of Harsha Maddula was pulled from Wilmette Harbor. (Published Friday, Sep 28, 2012)

    As police continue investigating, Sonti made it clear that public speculation about what led to Maddula's death "is counterproductive."

    "There is no reason to believe that Harsha was suicidal or that this had anything to do with his diabetic condition," she said, asking for respect for the boy's family as they grieve.

    "Something is there," she said. "We don't know what, but this is not the end of the answers for us."

    University spokesman Alan Cubbage said Thursday there does not appear to be any foul play involved.

    "On behalf of Northwestern University, I extend our deepest sympathies to Harsha's family and to his many friends at Northwestern," said University President Morton Schapiro. "Our hearts and thoughts are with them. The loss of one member of the Northwestern community deeply affects us all."