The Rhode Island Department of Health confirmed today the body found earlier this week in waters off Providence is that of Sunil Tripathi, the missing Brown University student who disappeared more than a month ago. Tripathi's name made national headlines earlier this month after users on social news forums said the Indian-American student resembled one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
"On April 23, our beloved Sunil was discovered in the waters off India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island," the Tripathi family's statement read on Facebook.
"As we carry indescribable grief, we also feel incredible gratitude. To each one of you-from our hometown to many distant lands-we extend our thanks for the words of encouragement, for your thoughts, for your hands, for your prayers, and for the love you have so generously shared," the note continued.
"Your compassionate spirit is felt by Sunil and by all of us."
"This last month has changed our lives forever, and we hope it will change yours too. Take care of one another. Be gentle, be compassionate. Be open to letting someone in when it is you who is faltering. Lend your hand. We need it. The world needs it."
The statement was published on the Facebook page the family started to help find their son. It was the same page the family took down because of racist hate messages they received minutes after Tripathi was labeled as the Boston Bomber on sites like Reddit. At the time, news reporters also gathered in front of their home looking to speak to the family of the supposed bomber.
The Tripathi family closed their statement with a few meaningful words.
"With love, The Tripathi Family"