The family’s claim came at an emotional wake for Harsha Maddula, at a New Hyde Park funeral home.
“It's unexpected. We were hoping to find him. There's no way he would have drowned like that,” the New York Post quoted Maddula’s uncle Vasu Kakollu, as saying.
He said cops ‘are still trying to put some pieces together.’
The Cook County, Illinois medical examiner recently told Maddula’s family that the teenager drowned, and that no signs of trauma or foul play were found during the autopsy.
Maddula was last seen in Evanston, Illinois on September 18 and his body was recovered on September 27.
According to police officials, Harsha, who was suffering from diabetes, went out on Friday night last week with friends for two off-campus parties.
On Saturday, some of his friends left the second party and headed on foot to a third about a quarter-mile away.
When they arrived there, they realised that Harsha, who showed no signs of being drunk, was gone.