Investigation of Northwestern Student’s Drowning Continues, Police Say
Harsha Maddula, a sophomore at Northwestern University, drowned in Wilmette Harbor last month. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office initially ruled the cause to be "undetermined."
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information that the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office provided to Patch. Officials expect that a complete toxicology report, due to be completed in the next few weeks, will show whether or not there was alcohol or insulin in Maddula's body at the time of his death.
Cmdr. Jason Parrott, a spokesperson for the department, said that police continue to interview students who attended a party where Maddula was last seen alive. Police also recently canvassed the area of Wilmette Harbor, talking to neighbors to see if anyone had seen anything. Parrot said no new information came from that search.
Maddula, 18, of New Hyde Park, NY, was last seen alive on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 12:30 a.m., walking home from the party he attended off campus. He was about to enter his sophomore year at Northwestern University, where family members say he was studying to become a doctor.
Earlier: Maddula Family Mourns Loss of Son
After he was reported missing early the following week, police traced his cell phone signal and determined that it transmitted its last signal in the early morning hours of Sept. 22, near a tower in Wilmette Harbor. A local fisherman found his body in the water on Thursday, Sept. 27.
After an initial autopsy, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the cause of death to be drowning, for "undetermined” reason, meaning it could be either a suicide or an accident.
According to friends and family, Maddula had recently been diagnosed with type I diabetes, which requires insulin injections to stabilize sugar levels in the blood. A friend told Patch that Madulla initially did not want to take insulin, but eventually was convinced to do so.
Police are still waiting for a complete toxicology report from the Medical Examiner’s Office, which could take up to eight weeks to produce, according to Parrott.