The search for missing Northwestern University student Harsha Maddula has been expanded to include the area of Wilmette Harbor on Lake Michigan.

Update 11:40 a.m.: At a late morning news conference at the harbor, University spokesman Alan Cubbage said records of Maddula’s cellphone phone activity showed showed that the closest cellphone tower to the last signal received from the phone was in the harbor area.

Top: A dive-team member adjusts a colleague’s face mask. Above: A diver in the water.

Cubbage said the signal, just a “ping” off the cell tower, not a phone call, was received about 1 a.m. Sayturday, shortly after Maddula was last seen at an off-campus party.

Wilmette Harbor is about two miles north of Maddula’s residence hall on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Yellow police tape surrounded much of the Gilson Park dock area around the U.S. Coast Guard station.

Cubbage said dive teams from the Wilmette and Northbrook fire departments were searching the water. Boats docked in the harbor were also being searched.

NU spokesman Alan Cubbage speaking at the news conference.

Cubbage said no physical evidence has yet been recovered to indicate that the student was actually at the harbor and that it was still possible he might turn up alive.

Maddula, a sophomore at Northwestern, was last seen Sept. 22 at approximately 12:30 a.m. leaving a party off campus. He is a resident of the Public Affairs Residential College on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. A missing person report was sent statewide to law enforcement agencies Sept. 23.

Maddula is described as a male of Indian descent18 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, approximately 150 pounds, with black hair and dark brown eyes. He was last seen wearing black-framed glasses, a grey long-sleeve sweater with white and black stitching, dark grey pants and brown shoes.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Harsha Maddula, please contact Northwestern University Police at (847) 491-3254.

Family members have distributed fliers saying they are offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who finds the missing student.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *