A body pulled from the water near Providence, R.I., has been identified as missing Brown University student and Bryn Mawr native Sunil Tripathi.

Tripathi was last seen on March 16, when he left his apartment without his wallet or phone.

Dara Chadwick, a Rhode Island health department spokeswoman, said a forensic dental examination identified the body as Tripathi.

His cause of death is still being determined, Chadwick said. She said it could take a couple months before the medical examiner makes a ruling.

The search for the 2008 Radnor High School graduate garnered widespread media attention, particularly when he was inaccurately identified on social media as a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings last week.

A message from the Tripathi family posted this morning on the Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi Facebook page reads:

"As we carry indescribable grief, we also feel incredible gratitude. To each one of you–from our hometown to many distant lands–we extend our thanks for the words of encouragement, for your thoughts, for your hands, for your prayers, and for the love you have so generously shared."

A Brown rowing coach found the body floating in a Providence river, about a mile from his apartment, on Tuesday.

Tripathi was on leave from Brown at the time of his disappearance and left a vaguely worded note that hinted at suicide.

"This last month has changed our lives forever, and we hope it will change yours too," the message posted by Tripathi's family says. "Take care of one another. Be gentle, be compassionate. Be open to letting someone in when it is you who is faltering. Lend your hand. We need it. The world needs it."

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.