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Lovely Varughese Asks Council for Answers

Pravin Varughese

The mother of an SIU student who was found dead in early 2014 says she wants Carbondale city leaders to help answer questions that remain from his case.
Lovely Varughese implored the city council to help her Tuesday night. She says injuries not listed in a first autopsy were found in a second autopsy, and information she's requested has not been provided.
"We have been left in the darkness, with no answers, for over two years now. We still don't know what happened to Pravin that night, when he died. How much pain was he in? Was he alone during his last time in this world? How scared was he, and a million more questions. I have sleepless nights."
Varughese says she's on a mission to clear her son's name - fighting back against comments that he was intoxicated when he went into the woods on the east side of Carbondale before he died.

"Why wasn't there a crime scene tape, and why did we have to beg to go to the scene? How did they make a conclusion that there was no foul play involved? Why were all the assumptions made that he was drunk and on drugs even before an autopsy?"
Varughese says an independent autopsy shows her son was injured - possibly beaten - before his death, and that he had no drugs or alcohol in his system. She says her repeated requests for information from local authorities have gone unanswered, and she wants the leadership in Carbondale to help her.

The Varughese family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Pravin's case - initially naming the city of Carbondale, its former Police Chief Jody O'Guinn, and Coroner Tom Kupferer as defendants. That case now lists only Gaege Bethune - who reportedly gave Varughese a ride the night he disappeared - as a defendant. The next hearing in that case is next week in Jackson County Court.

Jennifer Fuller joined Capitol News Illinois in July 2023 as the organization’s broadcast director. She will oversee the launch and operations of CNI’s new broadcast division.

Contact Jennifer Fuller at jfuller@capitolnewsillinois.com
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