ST. LOUIS – The mysterious case of Pravin Varughese’s death is resurfacing in the media, courtesy of NBC’s Dateline series.

Dateline, a series that originally aired in 2019, has recently reignited interest in Varughese’s death through posts on the network’s social media platforms.

Varughese, a 19-year-old student at SIU-Carbondale, died in 2014 after going missing. Initially, an autopsy concluded that hypothermia was the cause of death. However, Varughese’s family opted for a second autopsy, which suggested blunt force trauma.

Charles Stegmeyer, attorney for the Varughese family, claims that the grand jury never heard about the second autopsy, which revealed Varughese’s death resulted from blunt force trauma. He says the family became aware of the trauma when their funeral home suggested a second autopsy.

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Varughese vanished after leaving a party in 2014. He left the party with a man he befriended there, along with a third person, in a car. A dispute ensued, and Varughese fled from the car into a wooded area.

“Following the dispute, Pravin exited the vehicle at the 1400 Block of East Main Street and fled into the wooded area,” said Carbondale Police Chief Jody O’Guinn in a press conference. “The difficult terrain and low temperatures are believed to have contributed to Pravin’s difficulty finding his way out of the wooded area.”

Temperatures that night dropped into the low teens, and Varughese was not wearing a coat.

After the news conference, Varughese’s family arrived at the area where his body was found, questioning the police’s conclusion that no foul play led to their son’s death.

“We just cannot believe he ran into the woods like this,” said his mother, Lovely Varughese. “Standing here, I really don’t know how he could have done this, and if he had a phone with him, he would have called somebody right away.”

She continued, “I don’t know what happened. There has to be something they have to solve. This is not like him.”

His sister, St. Louis University student Priya Varughese, agreed. “This doesn’t seem like his character. He’s smarter than this. He wouldn’t go out on his own.”

Police didn’t confirm if alcohol played a role, but the chief mentioned a curious account from the driver about the ride Varughese accepted.

“He was supposed to be giving him a ride home, but according to some of the statements that we have, he was unable to tell him where he lived exactly.”

The family then filed a lawsuit in his death, alleging someone beat Pravin Varughese and left him in a wooded area in Carbondale.

They claim this person was someone who gave him a ride from a party. The Jackson County Coroner ruled he died of hypothermia and found no evidence of foul play.

However, a second autopsy commissioned by the family found evidence of four different blows to Varughese’s head and face.

The lawsuit seeks $1 million from the driver and compensation from the City of Carbondale and its police chief.

In 2017, a man was charged with killing Pravin Varughese. Twenty-two years old at the time, he is accused of beating and robbing Varughese in February 2014. Varughese ran into the woods after the attack.

However, in September 2018, a Jackson County judge threw out the first-degree murder conviction in the death of Varughese.

Prosecutors say that the 22-year-old and Varughese were intoxicated when they fought while driving around Carbondale looking for cocaine in February 2014, and that the 22-year-old caused head injuries that left Varughese disoriented and led to his hypothermia death.

The 22-year-old’s attorney argued that no evidence was presented at trial to prove that claim.

Currently, there are still no answers as to how Varughese died. Two autopsies claim two different causes of death, and no one has been found guilty in the case so far.

The video attached is from a FOX 2 report in 2014.