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Body of Northwestern student pulled from Wilmette harbor

Missing Northwestern student HarshMaddula.

Missing Northwestern student Harsha Maddula.

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Updated: October 29, 2012 7:06AM



The search for missing Northwestern University student Harsha Maddula ended Thursday evening when authorities pulled his body from Wilmette Harbor, officials said.

Authorities confirmed the 18-year-old sophomore’s identity through a college ID card that was found in his wallet. His cell phone was also in his pocket when his body was discovered floating in the harbor between two boats just before 7 p.m.

A man fishing off a pier near Sheridan Road bridge discovered the body and contacted harbor employees.

“A body that has been recovered from the water in Wilmette Harbor earlier tonight appears to be that of a missing Northwestern University student, Harsha Maddula,” said Alan Cubbage, a Northwestern University spokesman at a news conference.

There are no signs of foul play.

In a statement, NU President Morton Schapiro extended the school’s “deepest sympathies” to Maddula’s family.

“The loss of one member of the Northwestern community deeply affects us all,” he said in the statement.

Cubbage said the school’s Counseling and Psychological services are being made available for students who wish to speak with them.

Maddula, a biomedical student from New York with dreams of becoming a doctor, disappeared after attending an off-campus party last Friday.

By examining his cell phone signal it appears-for reasons unknown he walked two miles north from the party to the harbor.

Dive teams searched the harbor Wednesday unsuccessfully for Maddula, who suffers a rare form of diabetes. Maddula’s family had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to his return.

More than 100 Northwestern students had volunteered to help in the search, fanning out around Evanston and putting up fliers.

An autopsy on Maddula’s body is expected to be performed Friday.

“We’re all a little confused and just want to know what happened,” said Northwestern junior Sue Kim, 20.



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