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New lead in search for R.I. student

Sunil TripathiTripathi family

Police have developed a poten­tial lead in the search for missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, his sister said Monday morning.

Sangeeta Tripathi and the FBI said Providence police were working on a lead, but they did not release any more details. Providence police did not imme­diately respond to a message seeking comment.

Extensive news coverage has generated numerous tips about Sunil Tripathi, 22, locating him in Providence, his sister said, though nothing solid has materialized.

"It's really scary also knowing that we have so many ­resources out there and he still isn't found," she said.

Volunteers have been searching commuter rail stops from Providence to Boston, as well as hospitals, public libraries, YMCAs, and any "places a young man with no resources could end up," she said. Tripathi said her brother rode the commuter rail frequently.


In the week before his disappearance, Sunil Tripathi's interaction with his family was "completely unremarkable," showing no signs of distress, his sister said. Sangeeta Tripathi said her family is very close and would rarely go 24 hours without contact with one another.

Tripathi was last seen in his apartment on Angell Street in Providence around 11 a.m. March 16. His aunt, a Newton resident, was the last family member who heard from him. He sent her a text message at 11:55 p.m. on March 15.

Sangeeta Tripathi had been out of the country for the last three weeks and texted her bother after her plane landed on the afternoon of March 16. She never got a response.

Police said Sunil Tripathi's girlfriend reported him missing that day and found Tripathi's cellphone, credit card, ID, and other personal effects in his room.

This weekend, the family ­announced that the FBI was ­involved in the search, along with Providence police detectives. The search for Tripathi now spans four states.


"We're all shellshocked," Sangeeta Tripathi said, "and trying to understand what happened."

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at lauren.dezenski@