Wilmette Police Release Details of Search for NU Student

Police reported they used dogs, boats, helicopters, sonar and more in their search.

The Wilmette Police Department released the following statement Friday, detailing their involvement in the search that helped lead to last night's discovery of the body of 18-year-old Northwestern sophomore Harsha Maddula in Wilmette Harbor. Maddula had been missing since shortly after midnight on Saturday, Sept. 22, when he was last seen leaving a party in the 2000 block of Ridge Avenue in Evanston.

On Tuesday September 25th the Wilmette Police Department was asked to assist the Northwestern and Evanston Police Departments in their search for a missing Northwestern student. That search brought them to the area of the Wilmette Harbor based on phone contact information.

Over the course of the next two days Wilmette, in coordinating with the Evanston and Northwestern Police Departments conducted an extensive search of the area utilizing officers on foot, boats from the United States Coast Guard, a helicopter with a forward looking infrared device (FLIR), sonar, bloodhounds, cadaver dogs, and divers.

Earlier - Medical Examiner: NU Student Died of Accidental Drowning

On Thursday September 27th, at 6:43pm, a fisherman reported seeing a body in the water and called the Wilmette Police. That body was recovered with the assistance of the US Coast Guardand the Wilmette Fire Department. The body has been positively identified as Harsha Maddula. The body was fully clothed, containing his phone, wallet, and Northwestern identification card. There was no trauma to the body, no signs of a struggle near the scene and absolutely nothing to indicate to the investigators that his death was the result of foul play.

The Wilmette Police Department processed the body and transported it to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office where it was determined to be a drowning. Toxicology results are pending.

The Evanston Police Department will be the lead agency in determining his activities prior to his arrival at Wilmette Harbor.


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