Cops Narrate Chain Of Events That Led To Indian-American Freezing To Death

Akul Dhawan, 18, died on January 20 reportedly after freezing to death near a club in Illinois's Urbana that refused him entry.

Akul Dhawan died of hypothermia

New Delhi:

Akul Dhawan, a student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US, was found dead last month. The 18-year-old died on January 20 reportedly after freezing to death near a club in Illinois's Urbana that refused him entry.

Akul Dhawan died of hypothermia following "acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures, which significantly contributed to his death", the Champaign County Coroner's Office in Illinois said.

The University of Illinois Police said that information collected so far supports the initial belief that his death was accidental, and "no foul play" occurred.

Authorities have now assembled a timeline of the initial police response to the call of a friend who had lost contact with Mr Dhawan.

Video Showed Akul Dhawan Consuming Alcohol

According to the initial findings in the investigation, police said that Akul Dhawan met his friends at the Busey-Evans Residence Hall at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign around 9 pm on January 19 and consumed alcohol there.

At approximately 10 pm, he and his friends attended an event at the Canopy Club, S Goodwin Ave in Urbana.

Around 10:45 pm, he traveled with friends to Green Street and security video obtained later showed him consuming more alcohol before the group returned to Canopy Club, the police said.

Akul Dhawan Was Denied Entry By Club

While Akul Dhawan's friends re-entered Canopy Club between 11:25 pm and 11:29 pm, he remained outside. Police said that he was denied entry by venue staff when he attempted to enter at 11:31 pm and continued to attempt to gain access to the venue "multiple times", but was repeatedly denied by staff.

Around midnight, two different rideshare vehicles were called to pick up Mr Dhawan outside Canopy Club, but he declined both rides despite attempts by venue staff and a passerby to convince him otherwise, the police added.

"Subsequent phone calls and text messages sent by friends to Mr Dhawan's phone were not answered," the police said, adding that the information about his presence at Canopy Club was not communicated to them when the friend, who had been with him at Canopy Club, called them later in the night.

At around 11:08 am on January 29, a university employee exiting Bevier Hall saw Mr Dhawan laying on concrete steps behind 1203 W Nevada Street in Urbana and called the emergency telephone number 911.

Akul Dhawan's Parents Accuse Cops Of Negligence

Akul Dhawan's parents have filed a complaint against the school's police department for negligence.

Ish Dhawan and Ritu Dhawan said that their son was found just 400 feet from where he was reported missing based on location-tracking data on their son's phone.

“This is bizarre, that a kid is never found who was just less than a block, like one minute away, sitting there, dead, frozen to death,” Ish Dhawan told The News-Gazette newspaper.