Indian Teen In US Froze To Death After Denied Entry

Akul Dhawan, an 18-year-old Indian-American student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US, tragically passed away last month after reportedly being missing for several hours.

The Champaign County Coroner's Office in Illinois recently announced that the Indian-American student's cause of death was hypothermia, which resulted from "acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures, significantly contributing to his death."

His body was discovered on January 20th on the back porch of a building near the university campus in west Urbana, Illinois. Initial observations indicated signs of hypothermia, though the precise cause of death was still being investigated by campus police.

On the night of January 20th, Akul had been out for drinks with friends, and around 11:30 PM, they attempted to visit the Canopy Club, a nearby venue they had frequented previously. However, club staff denied him entry despite multiple attempts, and he also declined two rideshare vehicles arranged for him.

During this time, Illinois and much of the Midwest experienced harsh cold and freezing temperatures, with wind chills dropping as low as -20 to -30 degrees.

Numerous attempts to contact Akul went unanswered, prompting a friend to contact campus police for assistance. Despite an officer searching the area, Akul could not be located.

The following morning, university staff discovered Akul's body on the back porch of a building. He was pronounced dead upon discovery.

Akul's parents, Ish and Ritu Dhawan, revealed that their son was found just 400 feet from where he was last reported based on location-tracking data from his phone.

Despite his parents' objections, Akul, who turned 18 in September of the previous year, chose to study robotics at the University of Illinois' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, following his passion against their wishes for him to stay closer to home.

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