Autopsy Scheduled for Missing L.I. Student Found in Harbor

Harsha Maddula was found in a harbor days after he was last seen leaving a party

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    Harsha Maddula of New Hyde Park was found in a harbor days after he was last seen leaving a party. Contessa Brewer reports. (Published Friday, Sept. 28, 2012)

    An autopsy will be performed Friday to determine what caused the death of a Northwestern University student from Long Island whose body was found in a harbor six days after he went missing.

    The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said the body of 18-year-old Harsha Maddula will be examined Friday morning.

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    Maddula, from New Hyde Park, N.Y., disappeared after leaving an off-campus party after midnight last Friday, setting off days of searching by police and fellow students. His family had offered a $25,000 reward for information on his whereabouts.

    His body was pulled from Wilmette Harbor on Thursday night after it was spotted by a boater. Authorities, including dive teams, had focused their search in the area north of Evanston because a signal from his cellphone registered with a nearby communications tower around 1 a.m. Saturday.

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    Maddula's wallet with a university identification card and cellphone were found on the body, which showed no signs of foul play, said Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage.

    "On behalf of Northwestern University, I extend our deepest sympathies to Harsha's family and to his many friends at Northwestern. Our hearts and thoughts are with them," University President Morton Schapiro said in a statement.

    Maddula was a sophomore in Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    Investigators are still trying to determine why he ended up two miles north of the party and whether he was alone or had left the party with friends.

    Wilmette police had no comment.

    His parents, Prasad Maddula and Dhana Lakshmi Maddula, and other relatives arrived in Evanston on Monday to join the search for the student, who had been recently diagnosed with diabetes.

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