ST. LOUIS – A national organization is stepping in to help the grieving families of two Saint Louis University graduate students who drowned this past weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

Investigators reported Uthej Kunta, 24, was swimming in the lake when he began to struggle and then went under. Shiva Keligari, 25, dove in to try to rescue Kunta but did not resurface. 

Sridhar Talluri is part of an effort by the Telugu Association of North America to transport the victims’ bodies back to their families in India. 

“The families are anxious, and they’re devastated,” Talluri said. “All they want is to see their loved ones one last time.” 

He believes the graduate students just wanted to test the waters to see how cold they were but did not realize how deep the water was. The news came as a shock to students returning to campus following the Thanksgiving holiday. 

“This is really sad and heartbreaking,” said Ragapriya Kovvuri, a student at Saint Louis University. 

“My heart goes out to their family, and my prayers are for them because this is so unexpected,” said Faith Raun, a student at Saint Louis University. 

Saint Louis University officials are providing support for the students experiencing grief. The university released a statement offering grief counseling and other resources for students:

Know that your SLU family is here for you. We want to remind you of the resources available to you as you work through your own needs and grief: 

University Counseling Center (UCC): All students can utilize the University Counseling Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A trained and licensed therapist is also available 24/7 by calling 314-977-TALK (8255) and pressing 9. 

Dean of Students Office: The Dean of Students Office supports students in navigating campus resources and can offer guidance managing health and wellbeing. Students can contact the Dean of Students Office via deanofstudents@slu.edu or 314-977-9378. 

Campus Ministry: The Eckelkamp Center for Campus Ministry can be reached at 314-977-2425 or by emailing campusministry@slu.edu. Campus Ministry’s doors—on the first floor of Wuller Hall, in many of the residence halls, and in room 207 of Caroline Hall on the South Campus–– are always open for you to stop in and pray or process. 

Center for Counseling and Family Therapy: Faculty from the Center for Counseling and Family Therapy welcome anyone from the SLU community. You can call 314-977-2505 to schedule an appointment from 12-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): The EAP program offers help with scheduling professional counseling for SLU employees by calling 800-859-9319. Please contact hr@slu.edu with questions.”