There is far more to Sunil Tripathi than the missing man ensnared by wild speculation after the Marathon bombings.
“Sunil is my baby brother,” said Sangeeta Tripathi. The philosophy student was quiet, brilliant, kind, and patient. He followed his older siblings to Brown University and excelled there. He played saxophone. He liked jazz. He loved sharing meals and political debates with his family.
Sangeeta spoke about 22-year-old Sunil on Tuesday afternoon, 37 days after he disappeared. A couple of hours later, a Brown rowing coach spotted a body in the Providence River, and the family began an agonizing wait to learn if it was him. On Thursday morning came the awful news: It was Sunil.
Before he disappeared, Sunil was going through something tough. Just over a year ago, he took an academic leave, his sister said. He stayed close to campus, reading, playing in a local chess club. He was in constant touch with his parents, in Radnor, Pa., and others. The night he disappeared, he talked to his grandmother and texted with his aunt.
The whole family dropped everything to join the search in Providence. They marshaled friends and relatives to help raise Sunil’s profile. He would not be just another missing person. They came up with a “Lend Your Hand” campaign, in which people would write messages to Sunil on their palms and post the pictures, in case he could see them.
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