A 23-year old Indian-American student at Purdue University, who was found dead in a nature preserve in Indiana this week, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to authorities.
Sameer Kamath, a US citizen, was found dead in the woods on February 5 at approximately 5pm in NICHES Land Trust – Crow’s Grove in Williamsport, Indiana.
Justin Brummett, Coroner at Warren County Coroner’s Office, said in a press release Wednesday that a forensic autopsy was performed on Kamath on February 6 in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
The press release from the coroner’s office said that the preliminary cause of death is a “”gunshot wound of the head” and Kamath died by “suicide”. A toxicology report is pending.
“Through extensive investigation by the Warren County Coroner’s Office in conjunction with multiple other local and federal agencies, we are now able to release a preliminary cause and manner of death,” the release said.
The coroner’s office said that prior to releasing this information, Kamath’s family was notified of the results.
This is an ongoing investigation with the Warren County Coroner’s Office, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Purdue University Administration and other supporting agencies, it said.
“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and we hope they are respected during such a difficult time,” Brummett said.
A report in The Purdue Exponent said that Kamath was a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering. The report added that mechanical engineering head Eckhard Groll said in an email to the ME community that Kamath was from Massachusetts.
He “received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and came to Purdue in the summer of 2021,” the Purdue Exponent report added.
Kamath was to graduate from the doctoral program in 2025, according to his LinkedIn profile, the report said.
Kamath’s death is the latest in a string of tragic incidents among students of Indian-origin and from India in the US.
Last month, another Purdue student 19-year old Neel Acharya, who had been reported missing, was found dead on the Purdue University West Lafayette campus. Acharya was a US citizen. Authorities have said that there was no trauma or significant injuries found during the autopsy on Acharya and “no foul play is suspected at this time”.
Last month, 25-year-old Indian student Vivek Saini was hammered to death by a homeless drug addict in Georgia. Earlier this month, another Indian student, Syed Mazahir Ali, hailing from Hyderabad and pursuing Masters in information technology, was chased and brutally attacked by three unidentified men in Chicago.