A body found by lifeguards near the Newport Pier was identified as that of a missing Cal State Fullerton engineering student, the coroner’s office confirmed Wednesday.
Praveen Galla, a 23-year-old student from India, vanished Feb. 2. He reportedly left his off-campus apartment in Fullerton in an Uber car and was dropped off at the university about 5 p.m. that day, but had not been seen since.
His body was found in the water about 1,000 feet from the Newport Beach pier about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. An autopsy was inconclusive, and the cause of death was pending toxicology tests, according to the Orange County Sheriff- Coroner’s Office.
Cal State Fullerton President Mildred Garcia sent a note Wednesday to the university’s students and educators expressing grief at his death.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing, announced today, of graduate student Praveen Galla, who was reported missing more than a week ago,” Garcia wrote.
“The sense of loss we feel is palpable when tragedy strikes our community,” she said.”While we are still learning details of the circumstances surrounding his death, we do know that he will be missed. The entire Titan family offers our support to his family, friends and classmates during this trying time.”
Some of Galla’s friends told reporters that he had been depressed over a student visa issue, but they did not believe he was suicidal.
Garcia said counselors would be available, including after-hours, to assist any grieving students or CSUF staff.
— Wire reports