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Indian-Origin Student Akul Dhawan Died Freezing Near Club Which Denied Him Entry – News18

Akul Dhawan died freezing four minutes away from the Canopy Club, a club and an eatery near the University of Urbana Champaign in Illinois. (Image: Google Street View)

The Canopy Club, which Akul Dhawan with his friends visited earlier as well, denied him entry on the night of his death.

Akul Dhawan, the 18-year-old Indian-American student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US who died last month after going missing for several hours, died of hypothermia following “acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures, which significantly contributed to his death”, according to a statement released by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office in Illinois.

“An autopsy was performed on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, that confirmed the death of Mr. Dhawan was due to hypothermia. Acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures, significantly contributed to his death,” the press release stated.

Akul was found dead last month (January 20) and his body was found on the back porch of a building near the university campus in west Urbana in US’ Illinois. The campus police that time said they would wait for the probe to end to determine the exact cause of death but highlighted that there were signs of hypothermia.

Akul was out with friends for a few drinks on the night he died. They decided to visit the Canopy Club, on January 20, 2024, around 11:30pm. They had visited the club earlier as well. The club was also close to the campus.

However, the staff denied him entry to the club despite him trying to enter the club “multiple times”. Local media outlets also pointed out that Akul turned down two rideshare vehicles called for him.

Illinois and the US Midwest witnessed biting, brutal cold and freezing temperatures in the latter half of January, with temperatures dipping between 0°C and -2°C.

The search for Akul was triggered when several calls made to him went unanswered and a friend contacter the campus police to look for him. The police said an officer looked for Dhawan by driving “at a walking pace” near the “likely path” he would have taken back to the university campus.

However, the next morning, a university employee notified the police after finding “a man on the back porch of a building”. The police said he was “dead at the time he was found”.

Akul was found four minutes away from the Canopy Club, according to Google Maps.

Akul Dhawan, who turned 18 in September last year, according to The News-Gazette, came to the University of Illinois’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to study robotics. His parents have claimed that the police never searched for their son.

(with inputs from Kansas City Star and The News-Gazette)

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