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Missing Purdue student found dead Sunday morning

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A 19-year-old Purdue student, Neel Acharya, who was reported missing, was found dead Sunday near the Purdue University Airport, the Tippecanoe Country Coroner’s Office confirmed Tuesday afternoon.  

According to the Purdue Exponent, social media posts from users who claimed to be close with Acharya say his last known location was in the same area where the body was found. 

According to the USA Today, Chris Clifton, the interim computer science head at Purdue, announced Acharya’s death in an email to the computer science department Monday night before the results of the autopsy. 

"It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our students, Neel Acharya, has passed away," Clifton wrote. "The leadership in the Department of Computer Science expresses our profound sorrow on his passing. I am deeply saddened by his loss. My condolences go out to his friends, family, and all affected. Our department recognizes this tragedy will impact his fellow students, professors, and staff. 

"When death and tragedy like this occur, people experience different kinds of reactions, including shock, sadness, fear, and anger. Those reactions may rise and fall throughout the day, and even for some time to come," Clifton wrote. "Some of us will want to process our feelings privately and others may want time to talk with peers or counselors. There are several resources at Purdue that can assist you at this time.” 

According to the email, Acharya was a double major in computer science and data science in the John Martinson Honors College and a brother of Triangle Fraternity.  

Due to the lack of information about Acharya’s death Monday, WION, an Indian news channel, questioned the safety of Indian students studying in the United States. 

According to the Tippecanoe Country Coroner’s Office press release from Tuesday, the preliminary cause of death, toxicology and preliminary manner of death are pending. The coroner's office noted that there is no foul play suspected at this time as there were no trauma or significant injuries found during the autopsy.  

The investigation is ongoing.

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