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Mar-29-2013 01:26printcomments

Surveillance Video Reveals New Clues in Case of Missing Brown Student

New Footage Appears to Capture Sunil Just After His Disappearance, Bolstering the Search.

Sunil Tripathi walks south on Brook Street with a friend on the evening before his disappearance.
Sunil Tripathi walks south on Brook Street with a friend on the evening before his disappearance.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) - Surveillance video obtained today from law enforcement shows a man matching the physical description of missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, filmed near Sunil’s house shortly after the suspected time of his sudden departure on the weekend of March 16. The images could provide critical clues for the family of the missing 22-year-old, bolstering an intensive search that has captured national headlines.

An image from the surveillance video, captured near Brown University at 1:33am on March 16, just 19 minutes after Sunil’s last recorded computer activity, displays a man walking south on Brook Street who matches Sunil’s physical description: six feet tall, skinny, and last seen wearing a black cap, dark jacket and jeans. The man’s physique also matches an image of Sunil that was captured by the same camera on the evening before his disappearance. Side-by-side analysis of the suspected Sunil video and the definitive Sunil video reveals a similar gait and identical walking route.

The video segments could help in pinpointing the time that Sunil departed and the route he may have taken after his disappearance. “This footage provides important clues that can help hone our search for Sunil,” said Sangeeta Tripathi, Sunil’s sister. Anyone who may have seen Sunil between 1:00am and 4:00am on March 16 in the area to the south of Brown University should contact Detective Mark Sacco at 401-641-8691.

Sunil’s family, which has been working around the clock in Providence to find Sunil since his disappearance, expressed gratitude to Brown University’s Department of Public Safety, Providence police and the FBI for their assistance in uncovering the footage. “Brown University, Providence police and the FBI have opened their doors wide to us, showing steadfast dedication to the search for my son that goes above and beyond the call of duty,” said Judy Tripathi, Sunil’s mother.

Providence businesses have also been assisting the search by reviewing their private surveillance footage from the weekend of Sunil’s disappearance. “We have been awed by the outpouring of support from the Providence community,” said Ravi Tripathi, Sunil’s brother. “From grocery store and coffee shop owners who are posting flyers to the waves of complete strangers who have volunteered to search the parks and canvass the streets, the community’s willingness to pitch in to find Sunny has been really remarkable.”

Support from the general public has also soared as the news of Sunil’s disappearance has expanded to a national scale.  The Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi Facebook page has gone viral, generating over 1.2 million unique views in its first week – a more than 4000 percent increase in the page’s cumulative traffic since its first day.  Providence police are now receiving tips on Sunil’s possible whereabouts from across New England and as far away as Illinois.

Grateful for the widespread offers of support, Sunil’s family said today, “As we search for Sunny, our heart goes out to the many other families who are searching for loved ones or accompanying them through times of struggle. Please tell those in your life, whether or not they are enduring hard times, how much they mean to you. We cannot overstate the difference that it makes.”

Sunil, who is six feet tall and weighs 130 pounds, was last seen on the weekend of March 16 wearing a black hat with a Philadelphia Eagles logo, thin black-rimmed glasses, a black ski jacket and jeans. Anyone with information on Sunil’s whereabouts should contact Detective Mark Sacco at 401-641-8691. Those in Providence wishing to lend support to the search for Sunil can email

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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