Search of Lake Michigan for Missing Northwestern Student Comes Up Empty

PHOTO: Harsha Maddula, 18, a student at Northwestern University has been missing since Sept. 22, 2012.
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A search of Lake Michigan's Wilmette Harbor by more than 20 law enforcement agencies failed to turn up any sign of missing Northwestern University student Harsha Maddula.

Maddula, 18, disappeared Saturday after he left a party near Northwestern's campus around 12:30 a.m., according to Northwestern University. His cell phone last pinged a cell tower near Wilmette Harbor around 1 a.m.

Divers searched the Lake Michigan harbor for hours on Wednesday, but found no signs of Maddula, according to a statement from the university today. Search parties organized by the Northwestern University police and made up of Northwestern student volunteers planned to search Evanston, Ill., on foot today.

"The question of whether he left the party alone or whether he was with a group is what university police and Evanston police are trying to nail down right now. We just don't know the answer to that right now," Alan Cubbage, vice president of university relations at Northwestern, told ABC News station WLS in Chicago.

The family of the sophomore pre-med student flew from their home in Long Island, N.Y., to assist with the search, and has put up a $25,000 reward for information on his whereabouts. They have described Maddula as a bookworm not prone to adventures or partying.

Maddula is also diabetic and would be in need of medication by now, they said.

"We really have no idea, no clue what could have happened to him," his cousin, Srinu Maddula, told ABC News today. "It's just out of his character. He's just a good kid, he just likes to study. He really enjoys school and education and work. He doesn't smoke, or drink, or do drugs because of his diabetic condition."

Srinu Maddula said that the family has little information about the party that his cousin was attending or what friends he was with on the night of his disappearance.

Maddula, who is 5-foot-8 and approximately 150 pounds, is of Indian descent. He has black hair and was last seen wearing black-framed glasses, a gray sweater with black and white stitching, dark gray pants and brown shoes.

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