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Heartbreak as police ‘find body of missing college student FALSELY accused of being the Boston Marathon bomber by internet ‘sleuths’

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

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 23:43 EST, 23  April 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:21 EST, 24 April 2013

Falsely accused: Sunil Tripathi, 22, was wrongly fingered as the Boston marathon bomber on Reddit and now police believe they found his bodyFalsely accused: Sunil Tripathi, 22, was wrongly  fingered as the Boston marathon bomber on Reddit and now police believe they  found his body

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.’

Tragic: Sunil Tripathi, seen here with his mother and sister, has been missing since last month. He left his cell phone and wallet when he walked out the doorTragic: Sunil Tripathi, seen here with his mother and  sister, has been missing since last month. He left his cell phone and wallet  when he walked out the door

Search continues: His family now hopes that the internet community will use their efforts to help find Sunil but police said it is 'very possible' that the body they found in the Providence River on Tuesday was SunilSearch continues: His family now hopes that the internet  community will use their efforts to help find Sunil but police said it is ‘very  possible’ that the body they found in the Providence River on Tuesday was  Sunil

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.

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.'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.’

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.

 Real suspects: 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (left, in the white cape) and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan (right in a black hat and glasses) were identified hours after police released their photos on Thursday evening Real suspects: 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (left, in  the white cape) and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan (right in a black hat and  glasses) were identified hours after police released their photos on Thursday  evening
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 itWrong 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

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.

Searching: His family started a Facebook group soon after his March 16 disappearance
Searching: His family started a Facebook group soon  after his March 16 disappearance
Sunil Tripathi Sunil Tripathi

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

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.

Items left behind: Sangeeta Tripathi, the missing student¿s sister, says his wallet, ID cards, credit cards and cell phone were found in his roomItems left behind: Sangeeta Tripathi, the missing  student¿s sister, says his wallet, ID cards, credit cards and cell phone were  found in his room

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

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