Police To Canvass Area Where NU Student Went Missing

As part of their ongoing investigation into the drowning of Northwestern student Harsha Maddula, Evanston Police will canvass the area where he was last seen missing.

Evanston Police are still seeking answers in the death of 18-year-old Northwestern University sophomore Harsha Maddula, whose body was found in Wilmette Harbor last week. 

This weekend, police plan to canvass the area where the pre-med student went missing, from the 2000 block of Ridge Avenue north to the harbor, according to a press release from the department.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott told Patch that officers do not believe there was any foul play involved in Maddula’s death.

“We’re just trying to find more information,” he said.

Maddula was last seen alive leaving a party in the 2000 block of Ridge Avenue around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, according to police. His cell phone last transmitted a signal in the early morning hours of that same Saturday near a tower in Wilmette Harbor.

A fisherman discovered his body in Wilmette Harbor Thursday, Sept. 27.  

The cause of death was ruled to be drowning, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. A representative initially told Patch that the death was ruled an accident, but on Friday, a representative said that the reason for the drowning was undetermined. 

“We don’t know if he committed suicide or if it was an accident,” the representative said.

Officials say Maddula suffered from type I diabetes, which requires insulin injections to stabilize sugar levels in the blood, and could have been a factor in his death. A neighbor of the Maddula family told News 12 in Long Island that the teen “was depressed” over his diagnosis and initially did not want to take insulin. However, the neighbor said that doctors later convinced Maddula that the shots were important.  

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office did not find evidence of insulin or alcohol in Maddula’s body.

Police believe local residents may have seen Maddula between 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, and are hoping to find more information this weekend. 

A sophomore in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Maddula grew up in New Hyde Park, NY, a suburb of Long Island. Funeral services were held this Monday in his Long Island.


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