Parents of missing Northwestern student offer $25K reward
As divers searched the water at Wilmette Harbor on Wednesday, the family of a missing Northwestern University student announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the sophomore's discovery.
A team of 21 law enforcement agencies and fire departments from three counties conducted the search, and the FBI has been involved with the investigation, according to the school.
But there was little evidence to locate the 18-year-old student, Harsha Maddula. Investigators say a signal from the student's cellphone pinged a communications tower near the harbor about 1 a.m. Saturday. He was last seen leaving an off-campus party at 12:30 a.m. Saturday. He has not been heard from since.
"This is our strongest lead at this time," said Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage.
None of Maddula's personal effects had been found near the harbor or in the adjoining Gillson Park, even after police used dogs to search the area.
Authorities continued to emphasize that there is no evidence of foul play and that Maddula was not considered a danger to himself.
Tanisha Patni, a freshman who lives in the same dorm as Maddula, said she spoke with him Friday evening — just hours before he disappeared.
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