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Harsha Maddula's family returns to LI

Friends and family gather at the home Harsha

Friends and family gather at the home Harsha Maddula's family as they arrive back home in Garden City Park. (Sept. 29, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

The family of the Northwestern University student from Garden City Park who was found dead in a Lake Michigan harbor on Thursday returned to Long Island Saturday, a week after he went missing.

Harsha Maddula, 18, a sophomore at the Evanston, Ill., school, drowned, according to an autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. The report, released Friday, did not say whether the death was accidental. Police said they found no evidence of foul play. The cause has been termed "undetermined," pending toxicology tests.

The pre-med student was last seen leaving an off-campus party about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 22.

Dozens of family members, neighbors and friends visited the family's home on Fourth Street in Garden City Park Saturday, some arriving with flowers.

Family members said a funeral is being planned for Monday, followed by cremation.

Kumari Maddula, whose son is Harsha's cousin, said the family is grief-stricken. "What can they do? Sometimes they're crying, then they're OK again," she said. "Anybody can understand how they feel and what they're doing.""What else can they do?" she added. "Nothing."

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