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Indictment handed down in SIU Carbondale student’s death

Pravin Varughese

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A grand jury indicted a 22-year-old man Thursday in connection with the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student.

In February 2014, Pravin Varughese was found dead in the woods in Carbondale. An autopsy initially ruled Varughese died of hypothermia, but Pravin’s family suspected foul play was involved.

A second autopsy, conducted later that year, determined Varughese died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. However, the report was never presented to a Jackson County, Illinois grand jury, which opted against indicting a suspect.

Varughese’s family eventually obtained Carbondale police records and fought to have the second autopsy considered.

Another grand jury was eventually convened, which returned with two counts of first-degree murder against Gaege Bethune. He remains jailed on $1 million bond.