Investigators look to video in search for missing Brown student

Investigators are now focusing on Providence-based surveillance video in the search for missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, family and friends said today.

The family is hoping surveillance video taken around Tripathi’s apartment on Angell Street in Providence at the time of his disappearance can provide investigators with a viable lead, Ben Beachy, a friend of Tripathi’s, said.

“We know, generally, the time window he would have been leaving his house,” said Beachy. “That would pinpoint a timestamp and show the direction he went in.”

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Tripathi’s aunt, a Newton, Mass., resident, was the last family member who heard from him. He sent her a text message at 11:55 p.m. on March 15.

Tripathi was last seen in his apartment on Angell Street in Providence around 11 a.m. March 16. and was reported missing the same day. Since then, the search for Tripathi, 22, has spanned a number of states and includes city, state, and federal law enforcement in Boston, Connecticut, New York, and Philadelphia.

Family members say Tripathi has struggled with depression in the past, and had taken a leave of absence from Brown University before he finished out his senior year. In his time away from Brown, Tripathi had joined a local chess club, picked up a couple of odd jobs such as wallpaper removal, and moved in with with a group of close-knit friends.

“Depression was a part of his life, as it is with many people, and he was working very hard to work his way out of it, as was his support network,” his brother, Ravi Tripathi, said.

In the week before his disappearance, Tripathi’s interaction with his family was “completely unremarkable,” showing no signs of any distress, his sister, Sangeeta Tripathi said earlier this week. The Tripathis said their nuclear and extended families are very close and would rarely go 24 hours without contact with one another.

“Another thing that’s been gnawing at all of us — all of his interactions leading up to this were seemingly routine,” Ravi Tripathi said.

This weekend, the family announced that the FBI was involved in the search, along with Providence police detectives. Search efforts have also focused on homeless shelters, hospitals, and psychiatric venues.

Sunil Tripathi, who is six feet tall and weighs 130 pounds, was last seen wearing a black hat with a Philadelphia Eagles logo, thin black-rimmed glasses, a black ski jacket and jeans. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact Detective Mark Sacco at 401-641-8691.

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