EEV: Very Sad, and very odd also that false accusations were taken seriously by a Reddit user calling themselves “Oops777” : Has Trolling by a cruel individual written all over this.
- ‘Body of Sunil Tripathi’ discovered in the Providence River in Boston
- Brown University student, 22, has been missing since middle of March
- Was wrongly identified on social media as a suspect in terror killings
PUBLISHED: 23:43 EST, 23 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:21 EST, 24 April 2013
Police found the body of a man in the Providence River and they think it is ‘very possible’ that it is missing student Sunil Tripathi who was wrongly accused of being one of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Tripathi, 22, was a Brown University student and has been missing since the middle of March.
Authorities are hoping to reveal the identity of the body today, but police lieutenant Joseph Donnelly told The Boston Globe that ‘it’s very, very possible’ that it is Tripathi.
The body was discovered on Tuesday evening around 6 p.m. in the river near the Wyndham Garden Providence Hotel, but it is not yet known when the person died.
The hotel is a little over a mile from Tripathi’s apartment on Angell Street where he was last seen on March 16. His cell phone and wallet were left in his apartment.
The body was discovered by the coach of the Brown University crew team during practice.
As news spread that his body had possibly been discovered, tributes to the student poured in through his family’s Facebook page, ‘Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi.’
‘Sending prayers to you and your family!’ wrote Michelle Tanenbaum Copelin. ‘Praying the report this morning is not true!’
Joanne Hubble wrote, ‘I know you already are, but hold onto each other and just keep holding onto each other. So many around the world are trying to help hold you all.’
Added April Jenson: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with your family alone today.’
The discovery comes just one day after a Reddit moderator put out an apology to Tripathi’s family after internet commentators falsely accused him of being one of the bombers.
‘I’d like to extend the deepest apologies to the family of Sunil Tripathi for any part we may have had in relaying what has turned out to be faulty information,’ the moderator of the FindBostonBombers subreddit wrote in a statement.
‘We cannot begin to know what you’re going through and for that we are truly sorry.
‘Several users, twitter users, and other sources had heard him identified as the suspect and believed it to be confirmed. We were mistaken.’
The apologies didn’t stop there, as Erik Martin, the general manager of Reddit, also sent out an email ‘to apologize personally and on behalf of all our employees for…some of the people on our site’s role in the spreading of this false idea about Sunny.’
It is not clear exactly how Tripathi went from being a missing person to wrongly becoming the prime suspect in the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers.
But it appears speculation started on social news site Reddit, with several users claiming on the forum last Thursday evening that he was being sought by thousands of police and SWAT team officers over the attack.
Some claimed his name had been mentioned between officers on the police scanner and one woman who said she went to school with Tripathi alleged CCTV images of one of the real suspects ‘looked like him.’
Then, after the suspects engaged in a raging gun battle with police, some Twitter users began circulating the police scanner claims, setting off a storm of further storm of speculation.
A cameraman with a Hartford affiliate of the CBS television network also tweeted: ‘BPD scanner has identified the names’ before naming ‘Suspect 2’ as Sunil Tripathi.
A review of recordings from police radio traffic, though, shows Tripathi was never mentioned by police, according to the Atlantic.
Wrong guy: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (left) has reportedly admitted to being the Boston Marathon bomber, and said that he and his brother acted alone, meaning Sunil (right) had nothing to do with it
But with the story gathering pace on social media, many users began to celebrate how they had found the suspect in the ‘white hat’ – a reference to the fact one of the images showed alleged bomber Dzhokar in a baseball cap of that colour.
Yet all chose to ignore the fact Tripathi had not been named by police as a suspect.
Within hours, vile messages began cropping up on Sunil’s Facebook page and about a dozen news vans camped outside the family’s home in Radnor, Pennsylvania.
By dawn on Friday, the suspects had been formally named – brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose family is from the breakaway Russian region of Chechnya.
The only consolation that his family took from the incident was that perhaps the internet sleuths may use the energy that they applied to sending vicious emails and threats after the false accusation to help find the missing student.
PERSON BEHIND THE REDDIT FORUM THAT ACCUSED SUNIL QUITS
The Reddit contributor who started the forum dedicated to identifying the Boston Marathon bombers announced that he is quitting the community site.
The user, identified only by his screen name of ‘Oops777’ said that it was a mistake to do so, and is now facing a massive backlash following their incorrect accusations.
He said that the goal of the forum was ‘to consolidate the already existing posts floating around /r/news and /r/boston.’
He announced his departure from the site as part of a Reddit ‘AMA’, which stands for Ask Me Anything.
‘We find it incredibly unfortunate that media outlets were so quick to jump without checking with authorities, but we hope they use the same energy and intensity they showed in the past 24 hours to really help us find Sunil,’ Sangeeta Tripathi, Sunil’s sister told Mother Jones earlier this week.
As the erroneous reports about Tripathi continued to spread online, his family, huddled around their computers in Providence, Rhode Island, felt helpless as Internet users leveled accusation after accusation against their missing relative.
‘Someone will tweet, then retweet, and completely unsubstantiated things can proliferate so rapidly and destructively,’ Sunil’s sister Sangeeta Tripathi said in an interview on Friday.
‘Those night hours were horrible.’
‘It seems this is just the ugly underbelly of viral social media,’ she later told NBC News.
‘But a lot of stir can be created through just a complete accusatory and unsubstantiated effort.’
The true suspects, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, were identified hours after police released their photos on Thursday evening.
Tamerlan was shot in an altercation with police early Friday morning but actually only died when his brother ran over him in the getaway car.
Dzhokhar was captured by police Friday evening and remains in FBI custody.
At a crossroads: Sunil Tripathi had taken a leave of absence from Brown recently and was volunteering at a library while deciding what to do next
Grainy images from a surveillance camera have come to light showing a figure believed to be Tripathi moments after leaving his home at 1.33am, just 20 minutes after he last used his computer, according to ABC News.
Police checked Tripathi’s online activity and bank accounts, but reportedly found no leads. They did come across what they have characterized as a vague note in the student’s apartment, but will not go into details.
The missing man’s bicycle, which he used frequently to get around, was at the unit he shared with several other university students.
Tripathi’s siblings, Ravi and Sangeeta, have been canvassing Providence and its suburbs in hopes of uncovering new clues leading to their missing baby brother.
Their desperate search took them to coffee shops, stores, homeless shelters, soup kitchens hospital and morgues.
Sensitive soul: The philosophy major, right, was described by his older brother, left, as a man who found pleasure in simple things like classical music
‘Everyone’s racking their brains to see if they can come up with places that he might be or where he might have gone,’ Ravi Tripathi, 26, said.
The student’s brother described him as a quiet man who found pleasure in simple things like listening to classical music. He also revealed that his sibling suffers from depression.
The close-knit family last heard from Sunil, known to his loved ones as Sunny, the night before he vanished.
‘Between family and friends, we are in constant contact with him,’ Sangeeta, 30, told ABC News on Sunday.
‘We became worried when he didn’t respond to many missed calls,’ she said.
Tripathi, 22, is a philosophy major at Brown and grew up in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
He has been living in Providence, Rhode Island, since 2008 and was on approved leave from the Ivy League school he is enrolled at.
According to his brother, Sunil had taken a leave from Brown recently and was spending his time volunteering at a local library.
He was last seen in the campus area wearing a pair of blue jeans, a black Eastern Mountain Sports ski jacket, glasses and a Philadelphia Eagles wool hat, according to witness reports. It is unclear what if any identifying features the body found in the Providence River had on him to make police blieve that it is Sunil.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2313870/Sunil-Tripathi-Police-body-missing-college-student-falsely-accused-Boston-Marathon-bomber-internet-sleuths.html#ixzz2ROYfkD7Z Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook