18-year-old Indian origin student 'froze to death' in US, kin suspect foul play

Akul Dhawan who was reported missing for over 10 hours was found laying on a staircase, it is alleged that the student denied entry into a club, froze to death.
Akul Dhawan
Akul Dhawan(Photo | LinkedIn)

An Indian-origin student allegedly froze to death in the US after being denied entry into a club, a local media report said.

The 18-year-old victim was identified as Akul Dhawan and was found frozen near his university on January 20. He was a first-year student at the University of Illinois in Urbana.

The Champaign County Coroner's office in a press release claimed that the student had died of hypothermia.

It is being said that Dhwan who had gone out with his friends was denied entry at a club close to his campus.

CCTV footage outside the bar showed that Dhawan tried to enter the club multiple times at around 11.30 pm but was denied entry for unknown reasons.

The victim had also refused to leave the place and had devied two rideshare vehicles that were called for him.

Police said that one of his friends made repeated calls to Dhawan through out the night.

It was only the next day at 11 am, the victim was found laying on concrete steps four minutes away from the club.

The coroner’s office said that Dhawan was pronounced dead on the spot, adding that “acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures, significantly contributed to his death,” reported The Kansas City Star.

Meanwhile, the victim's parents had released an open letter requesting "a thorough and transparent investigation", reported another local newspaper.

"We left for Urbana from California on January 21st and met with the police detectives and university officials the next day. We believe that the police never searched for our son. UI police never came in person to speak with the friend who reported him missing. We have been asking why Akul was found 10 hours later, rather than immediately after he was reported missing, when he could still be saved," the family stated.

The victim's family also expressed their doubts on the search operations that the police claimed to had conducted. '

It was around 1.23 am when Dhawan was found to be missing by his friend and 10 hours later he was found dead.

The family questioned the police over the number of officials invloved in the process and questioned what happened during the 10 hours and why did they stop the operations?

"Why were family and emergency contact not contacted to help with the search?" the letter read.

"Akul was found the next morning in the star mark. This is right next to Busey-Evans Residence Hall, less than 200 feet. Our son could easily have been saved if a proper search had been mounted near the Busey-Evans Residence Hall," the letter stated.

Akul death's is one of the seventh incidents since January this year where Indian origin students have been found dead under various circumstances.

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The New Indian Express