The family of a Southern Illinois University student who was found dead in the woods earlier this year went to Washington, D.C. in search of answers in their son’s mysterious death
The Varughese family drove 14.5 hours to Washington, D.C. with no appointments and no schedule hoping to find someone that would help them.
“We still don’t know what happened to our son,” said Lovely Varughese, mother of 19-year-old Pravin Varughese. “We have two other children that we need life to go on with, we have to live for them. Until we find some kind of closure in our son’s death I don’t think we can do that.”
Police initially told the family that the teen college student ran off after a night of drinking and died of hypothermia. But a second independent autopsy ordered by the family later showed that Varughese died of blunt force trauma to the head, with no drugs or alcohol in his system.
Over the last eight months, the family has gained support, but their pleads for justice have led to few answers.
In their recent trip, the family met with Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Mark Kirk’s office and Rep. Jan Schakowsky.
“There’s a lot more to learn about this case and I want to help this dedicated family in making sure that we get to the bottom of this and that we get justice for their son,” Schakowsky said.
The family says they’re not giving up their search for answers and told NBC Chicago the Department of Justice has urged them to file a formal complaint on what the family believes was a botched investigation.
“The trip was worth it. The trip was very worth it,” Lovely Varughese said.
A court hearing is set for next month regarding a lawsuit they’ve also filed.