Neel Acharya, a Purdue student who was reported missing on social media Sunday, has been confirmed dead.
In a Monday email written to the university’s computer science department, interim CS head Chris Clifton told students and faculty of Acharya’s death.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our students, Neel Acharya, has passed away,” Clifton wrote. “My condolences go out to his friends, family, and all affected.”
Clifton called Acharya a “driven individual and academically talented.”
Acharya’s friend and roommate, Aryan Khanolkar, said he was a “loving, charismatic soul, and will be cherished by all of us.”
Acharya was a double major in computer science and data science in the John Martinson Honors College, according to the email.
Clifton told the Exponent he received an email from the Office of the Dean of Students confirming Acharya’s death.
“A deceased person was found that matched Neel’s description and had Neel’s ID on (him),” he said.
On Sunday morning, a “college-aged” man was found dead near the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories about 10:30 a.m.
According to social media posts by users claiming to be close to Acharya, the student’s last known location was pinged in the same area the body was found.
The coroner has not confirmed whether Acharya was the man found near Zucrow that morning, which Robert Wang, a research assistant working at the lab, said had been found by a graduate student.
“It’s a shock,” Clifton said of Acharya. “A real loss to our community.”
– Reporting contributed by Katie Walling, Alex Haddon, Seth Nelson, Arshon Bozorgi, James Kling, Olivia Mapes, Kennedi Thomas, Alex Sanchez, Paige Helfrich and Selin Kemiktarak
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