Second autopsy performed by Dr. Margolis in Chicago, IL
First Autopsy performed by Dr. Jacobi in Carbondale, IL
On February 12, 2014 Pravin, who was a 19 year old sophomore at SIU- Carbondale, went to a party with his roommates and friends and never made it back to his apartment. He was reported missing on the 13, and was found in the woods on February 18. According to the police, a tipper came forward in hopes of receiving the reward money that was being offered for Pravin's safe return. The police said that Pravin got into the car with a "recent acquaintance;" but in reality, Pravin had never met this person before. The driver admitted that the two got into a fight and told police that Pravin ran into the woods. The authorities in Carbondale tried to make Pravin seem like "a typical college kid" who ran into the woods intoxicated and was unable to find his way out. An Illinois State Trooper pulled over after seeing that the driver's emergency lights were on. The driver told the trooper that he picked up a "black male" and he[Pravin] ran into the woods. The trooper shone his flashlight and failed to search for Pravin. He only filed a report days after Pravin was found. The coroner listed the cause of death as hypothermia and the police suspected no foul play just hours after Pravin was found. However, both of the toxicology reports showed that Pravin's blood and vitreous fluid tested negative for both alcohol and drugs. As per the funeral home director's recommendation, Pravin's family decided to order a second autopsy due to the lack of frostbite and numerous injuries seen on Pravin's body. The pathologist who performed Pravin’s second autopsy listed numerous injuries found on Pravin and determined that the underlying cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head . Pravin's death certificate, which is from Carbondale, lists hypothermia as the cause of death. The discrepancies of these two reports is unacceptable. With the help of the family attorney, the Varughese family has filed a lawsuit against: Gaege Bethune(the driver of the vehicle), the city of Carbondale, and former Carbondale Police Chief Jody O'Guinn. The Carbondale city manager fired Police Chief Jody O'Guinn on August 18, 2014. Lawsuits against the State Trooper, Chris Martin, and the Jackson County coroner, Thomas Kupferer, have also been filed. States Attorney Michael Carr convened a grand jury and did not subpoena the second autopsy or Pravin's friends who were with him that night. Pravin's toxicology report was nowhere to be seen in Carr's report. The grand jury decided that there was not enough evidence to criminally charge Gaege Bethune. Carr excused himself from the case and has asked to appoint special prosecutor for Pravin's case. After waiting for over a year, the family has finally been given the first autopsy. That report is nothing but a true example of negligence and incompetence.