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Investigation Continues into Drowning of Northwestern Student

Cook County Medical Examiner initially ruled cause of Harsha Maddula’s death to be “undetermined.”

One month after his body was found in Wilmette Harbor, Evanston Police say they are still searching for clues in the death of Northwestern University student Harsha Maddula.

Cmdr. Jason Parrott, a spokesperson for the department, said that police continue to interview students who attended a party where Maddula was last seen alive. Police also recently canvassed the area of Wilmette Harbor, talking to neighbors to see if anyone had seen anything. Parrot said no new information came from that search. 

Maddula, 18, of Garden City Park, was last seen alive on September 22, at 12:30 a.m., walking home from the party he attended off campus. He was about to enter his sophomore year at Northwestern University, where family members say he was studying to become a doctor.

Earlier: Maddula Family Mourns Loss of Son

After he was reported missing early the following week, police traced his cell phone signal and determined that it transmitted its last signal in the early morning hours of Sept. 22, near a tower in Wilmette Harbor. A local fisherman found his body in the water on Thursday, Sept. 27.

After an initial autopsy, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office , meaning it could be either a suicide or an accident.

According to friends and family, Maddula had recently been diagnosed with type I diabetes, which requires insulin injections to stabilize sugar levels in the blood. A friend told Patch that Madulla initially did not want to take insulin, but eventually was convinced to do so.

No evidence of insulin was found in Maddula’s body, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Examiners also found no evidence of alcohol. 

Police are still waiting for a complete toxicology report from the Medical Examiner’s Office, which could take up to eight weeks to produce, according to Parrott.

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