The family of a missing Southern Illinois University student is asking for the public's help.
Nineteen-year-old Pravin Varughese has been missing since last Wednesday. Family and friends are helping with search efforts, passing out fliers all over Carbondale hoping someone might have a clue that could lead to his whereabouts.
Police say Pravin Varughese was last seen at 606 West College Street. He left through the back door and no one has seen him since.
When family learned the news; aunts, uncles, cousins and friends dropped everything and drove down from Chicago to help with search efforts. They say they're not leaving until he's found.
One-by-one fliers are going out in hopes that a clue, one that could lead to Pravin Varughese's location, comes in.
"We are trying the best we can right now, we know he is out there, we want to find him and bring him back," said Leslie Thomas, Pravin's cousin.
Twenty of Varughese's family members are busy passing out thousands of posters all over Carbondale and further.
"Maybe someone will recognize him because that's all there is to do right now just to make him known," Thomas said.
Because there is still a lot that's unknown.
Varughese's Twitter account raises even more questions with family and police, but they say they won't give up until he's found.
"This is a priority to us right now, it is family," Thomas said.
The family is offering a reward for information in the 19-year-old's disappearance. A candlelight vigil was held Monday at 9 p.m. in Rinella Field on the SIU campus.
More than a 150 people gathered on campus for the vigil. After a short prayer for Varughese's safe return, and a word from his fellow classmates at SIU, they began to light their candles.
One-by-one the glow became brighter as each candle was lit. Now, Varughese's family is hoping that someone will be able to help them connect the dots to where he may be.
"He's just always there, even though he's six hours away," said Priya Varughese, Pravin's sister. "From Carbondale, he always calls home like every night just to make sure my parents don't worry about him. So, for us, this is not the Pravin we know. It's just a complete shock. Sometimes, it doesn't even feel like reality."
The family is offering a $15,000 reward for anyone who has information that may lead them to Pravin Varughese's whereabouts.
Pravin Varughese was in his second year of studies at SIU in the Criminal Justice program. He wanted to one day become a police officer.
If you have any information, please call the Carbondale Police Department.
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