Family says SIU student beaten before death
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Family is speaking out after a second autopsy was performed on a 19-year-old Southern Illinois University student who died in February.
According to Lovely, Pravin Varughese's mother, a second autopsy was conducted at the request of the family, and the funeral director in Chicago. This came after Pravin's body was brought back there by his family.
Lovely Varughese says the results came back and that the cause of death is blunt force trauma to his head. Pravin's mother says he also had a number of other injuries to his body, including a large injury to his right arm.
Lovely says she is a nurse and her husband a doctor. After seeing Pravin's body, they noticed the injuries and decided to go ahead with a second private autopsy.
"We knew something was wrong, because we saw him," said Lovely Varughese. She says that the autopsy shows that Pravin was beaten up before he died.
She says there was no sign of frostbite on Pravin's body, according to the second autopsy results.
Temperatures were in the teens the night Varughese went missing. Lovely had said toxicology exam results on the body came back negative for drugs and alcohol.
The doctor who did the toxicology exam says the samples used in the exam were obtained 9 days after the body was found. He would not comment on if that would jeopardize the results.
The initial reports show police didn't suspect foul play.
The Jackson county coroner says the first autopsy of Pravin Varughese shows the cause of death is hypothermia. The coroner said in February that there was no noticeable trauma.
Tweets from Varughese the night he went missing indicate that he had been in some sort of altercation as he referred to having "bloody knuckles."
The family says there are still missing pieces to that nights events.
Police chief Jody O'Guinn said during a press conference in February that he is going under the assumption that Pravin's death was caused by a combination of the low temperatures, and the rough terrain.
Police say Varughese accepted a ride from a recent acquaintance he met at a party just before midnight on February 12, 2014.
He left the vehicle after a fight and ran into a wooded area near Buffalo Wild Wings in Carbondale. The woods are located six miles from that house.
In a video posted in April on YouTube, Pravin's sister, Priya, talked about the findings.
"There was something holding a window up and when Pravin tried to take it out," said Priya. "The window slammed down on his hand. Knowing my brother he would over exaggerate something like that just to get other people to laugh. There is also a rumor going around that Pravin was intoxicated that night and caused his own death and that drugs were also involved. Tests show that Pravin's blood tested negative for both alcohol and drugs."
"We don't believe they gave the justice for us. So, we want further investigation for Pravin's death," said the student's uncle at a memorial service held in May 2014.
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