Indian student missing in US, family offers USD 15,000 reward

A 19-year-old Indian-origin student of the Southern Illinois University has gone missing with his family offering a reward of USD 15,000 for information leading to his recovery.

Pravin Varughese, originally from Morton Grove, was last seen about 11 pm on Wednesday in Carbondale, Illinois, police said.

The family is now offering a reward of USD 15,000 for information leading to the recovery of Varughese, a statement from the Carbondale Police Department said.

His sister, Priya Varughese, said Pravin, his cousin and a roommate had all gone to a house party in that area that night. His most recent post on Twitter, sent Wednesday night, reads, "Bloody knuckles...guess I was in a fight #backdown."

"I'm not really sure what it means," Priya was quoted by Chicago Sun-Times as saying.Pravin called a friend later that night and sounded like he was running or arguing during the phone call.

Pravin is a second-year student  at SIU studying criminal justice, his sister said. He lives in an off-campus apartment with his cousin and another roommate. "He's very social. He's just very easy to talk to. He's very easy at lighting up a conversation, and very funny," Priya said.

Friends and police handed out flyers and talked to residents about Pravin yesterday, Sergeant Rich Brunner said. Search efforts are on, he said. Police are following investigative leads and have conducted visual searches of the area by airplane and helicopter.

Relatives, friends and members of his church have travelled to Carbondale to help search for him. They have also set up a Facebook page called "Missing: Pravin Varughese" to share updates.

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