BREAKING: Cubbage: Harsha Maddula's body has been found in Lake Michigan
September 27, 2012
The body of missing Northwestern student Harsha Maddula has been found in Wilmette Harbor.
In a news conference Thursday night, University spokesman Al Cubbage said University Police was notified around 7 p.m. that a body was found in Lake Michigan along with Maddula's WildCARD and cell phone.
Maddula was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. The report does not list any indication of trauma, but that information could be included in an autopsy later. Wilmette Police investigators have not yet determined the cause of death.
Cubbage also said there were no signs of foul play on the body.
In a statement, University President Morton Schapiro said he "extends (his) deepest sympathies" to Maddula's family and friends.
"The loss of one member of the Northwestern community equally affects us all," Schapiro said.
Cubbage told reporters that Maddula's body was found between some boats in Wilmette near the Sheridan Road Bridge.
"Why the body was found today and not yesterday during the extensive search that occurred? I don't know the answer," Cubbage said, referring to an all-hands-on-deck search that 21 law enforcement agencies and fire departments were involved in Wednesday.
Cubbage said cell phone signals examined by investigators are "consistent with someone walking" from the off-campus party at which Muddala was last seen to the area surrounding Wilmette Harbor.
Associated Student Government released a statement through vice president Brad Stewart that called Maddula a "cherished member" of the NU community.
"It is during moments like these that the true strength of our Northwestern family shows," the statement said. "We are stronger than we ever could be apart. We are one Northwestern."
Michele Corriston contributed reporting.
This story is being updated throughout the evening as new information becomes available.