SIU student’s family files wrongful death lawsuit after autopsies conflict

800px-Phelps_County_Courthouse_(Nebraska)_courtroom_2

The family of a 19-year-old Southern Illinois University (SIU) student found dead in a wooded area has filed a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Carbondale and the police chief. The family has also called for a federal investigation.

Pravin Varughese went missing the night of February 12, and his body was found in the woods off of Main Street in Carbondale on February 18. Police say they later learned that Varughese got a ride from the driver of a pickup, but ran into the woods after an altercation. The temperature reached 14 degrees overnight, and the Jackson County coroner said that hypothermia appeared to be the cause of death. However, the Varughese family commissioned another autopsy, which showed blunt force trauma to the head.

The family claims that Carbondale police mishandled the investigation of the student’s death. The family was initially told that Varughese ran into the woods after a night of drinking. However, the autopsy commissioned by the family showed no alcohol in the student’s system. Police Chief Jody O’Guinn was fired over the mishandling of the case, and she is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Carbondale police were unaware of the altercation with the pickup truck driver until the driver himself came forward. The driver said that a man asked him for a ride and for money, but then punched him in the face and ran into the woods.

Comments are closed.

CHICAGO LAW OFFICE
351 W. Hubbard St. Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654

Phone: 312.222.0010
Fax: 312.222.1203

MAP/DIRECTIONS

JOLIET LAW OFFICE
175 N. Chicago St.
Joliet, IL 60432-4126

Phone: 312.222.0010
Fax: 312.222.1203

MAP/DIRECTIONS

Phone: 312.222.0010

SCHOLARSHIP

PODCAST:
Our podcast covers personal injury topics and cases of interest.

Chicago Injury Alert by Briskman Briskman & Greenberg

© 2020
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
All rights reserved.
Disclaimer | Sitemap | Privacy

The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Joliet, Waukegan, Cicero, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, and Naperville, as well as other cities within Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County and McHenry County. Briskman Briskman & Greenberg also represents injured people throughout Wisconsin, including Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Madison.

Custom Legal Marketing | Attorney Advertising