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Dental records of missing Brown student requested after body found in river

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The family of missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi has been asked to provide dental records to the medical examiner in Providence, R.I.

The ME is trying to identify the body of a man that was pulled from the Providence River late Tuesday afternoon. According to the lead investigator on the case, the ME expects to release the identity of the victim either Thursday or Friday.

Tripathi, 22, who is from Bryn Mawr, Pa., has been missing since March 16. He was last seen on surveillance video early that morning, not far from his apartment on Brook Street, near campus.

The body was found by members of the school's crew team in the water near India Point Park, which is a few blocks away from Tripathi's apartment. Police on the scene said the body appeared to be that of a man in his 20s.

When reached by phone, Tripathi's brother Ravi told NBC10's Monique Braxton that the family is in Providence and aware of the report. They don't plan on commenting until the ME has determined the identity.

Tripathi, a graduate of Radnor High School, moved to Providence to attend Brown. He was studying philosophy but took a leave this semester. Sunil battles depression and was working through a "tough time," his sister Sangeeta said last month. The family felt that in the weeks before he disappeared, however, Sunil was doing well. 

On the day his brother went missing, Ravi Tripathi made the trip from Philadelphia to Providence as fast as he could.

“We dropped everything. We didn’t even pack. And then a couple of days turned into over a month.”

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Since then -- 38 days now -- Providence has been ground zero in the search for Sunil Tripathi. His immediate family, extended family and close friends are all there together. Every day they meet and collaborate on what they can do next.

Last week Sunil's case was thrust back into the spotlight following a viral onslaught of erroneous speculation that Tripathi was connected to the Boston Marathon bombings.

"It's a very scary thing to be on the other side of it and see how quickly our voices got drowned out and hysteria took over," Ravi Tripathi said in an interview on Monday.

The Tripathi family has been posting the latest information and messages of hope on their “Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi” Facebook page.

"It's been a roller coaster for all of us," Ravi said earlier this week, reflecting back on the five weeks they've spent searching for Sunil.  Ravi said he would always be grateful for the time everyone has spent together, saying the support of family and friends has been "beautiful. A gift."

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