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

After more than five weeks, the search for a missing college student from the Main Line could be over.

Providence, R.I., police tell the Boston Globe that a body pulled from the Providence River late Tuesday afternoon could "very possibly" be 22-year-old Sunil "Sunny" Tripathi.

Police tell NBC10's Jesse Gary that they continue to investigate and that a medical examiner will determine if the body found in the river by the Brown rowing team is actually Tripathi's.

The Associated Press reports that the body pulled from the river appeared to be man in his 20s.

When reached by phone, Tripathi's brother Ravi Tripathi told NBC10's Monique Braxton that the family is in Providence and aware of the report. They don't plan to comment until there is a definitive identification of the body.

Tripathi, a graduate of Radnor High School who moved to Providence to attend Brown University, was last seen on surveillance images from the early hours of March 16.

Since then the Bryn Mawr, Pa., native's family has launched a continual search for him.

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."

Since then, 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.

Tripathi had taken a leave from Brown University this semester. He was living in a Providence apartment with some classmates. The 22-year-old battled depression, but the consensus among family members is that he seemed to be faring well in the weeks before he went missing.

Last week the missing person case was thrust back into the spotlight following an erroneous report about the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Tripathi family wasn't prepared for what happened once the pictures of the two Boston bombing suspects were released. Then the first post hit their "Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi" Facebook page.

"Someone remarking on similarities between Sunil and suspect No. 2,” Ravi said. “We took down the post, and then we realized it was picking up. His name was being pushed around a lot."

People were speculating that Sunil Tripathi was the second suspect in the bombing. The accusation got out of control quickly on social media, and when the family could no longer keep a handle on the hateful messages, they took down the Facebook page and reached out to law enforcement.

"I don’t think any of us could have foreseen what happened last week, but the good thing is, we were all here together," Ravi Tripathi said.

The family now waits to hear whether Sunil is now dead.

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