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Tragic Death of 18-Year-Old Akul Dhawan in US: Parents Accuse Police of Negligence

Akul Dhawan

The tragic death of 18-year-old Akul Dhawan, a first-year student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has left his parents devastated and seeking answers. Akul was found dead on January 20, reportedly due to hypothermia, after being exposed to freezing temperatures of -2.7 degrees. The circumstances surrounding his death have raised serious concerns, prompting his parents to write an open letter to the police.

In their heartfelt letter, Ish and Ritu Dhawan expressed the profound impact of their son’s sudden demise on the family. They stated, “Our son died in freezing conditions while at school on campus. No parent should ever experience their child passing away on campus with no one to help him.” The grief-stricken parents emphasized their pride in Akul’s academic achievements and the shock they felt upon learning about his death without prior notification from the university regarding any potential issues leading up to the tragedy.

We are Proud of Akul Dhawan : Parents

“We were so proud of our son for completing his semester and thriving at the university. He was a very smart kid who had his whole life before him. As a parent, I never thought I’d receive such news. We are completely devastated. We have a big massive hole left in our family; we will never be the same. Nothing can bring him back,” they wrote.

The Dhawan family has raised several critical questions for the UIUC police and university officials, seeking clarity on the handling of Akul’s disappearance. Their inquiries include:

  1. Search Protocol: What process and protocol did the police follow? How many officers were involved in the search?
  2. Proof of Search: What evidence exists that they searched in the area where Akul was last seen?
  3. Response Time: Why was Akul found 10 hours later, rather than immediately after he was reported missing when he could still have been saved? The locations where he was reported missing and where he was found are less than 200 feet apart.

Accusing the police of negligence, the Dhawans stated, “We believe that no search was carried out near the Busey-Evans Residence Hall.” They expressed their frustration that UI police never personally spoke with the friend who reported Akul missing.

As the investigation continues, the grieving parents hope for answers and accountability. They seek justice to prevent other families from enduring similar heartache.

Note: Akul Dhawan’s tragic story sheds light on the importance of timely and thorough search efforts in emergency situations, especially on college campuses.

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