Indiana College Student Found Dead in Central Park Lake, NYPD Says

By Aidan Gardiner and Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska  on January 2, 2014 10:17am

MANHATTAN — A "fun-loving" Indiana college student who went missing days ago while visiting family in the city was found dead in Central Park Lake on New Year's Day in what police said was likely a suicide. 

Aronno Haque, 22, who was from Bangladesh and was visiting his family in the city, was last seen near Union Square about 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, the NYPD said. His body was found the next day.

Haque's uncle Raoshan Chowdhury, 58, who lives in Jamaica, Queens, said that he was not aware the young man was having problems.

“He was kind of shy, very reserved, but also fun-loving,” his uncle said. “He loved to socialize with friends, he loved going to the movies, trying different dishes.”

The day before he disappeared, Haque met up with some friends in Union Square and said that he had to mail a bunch of letters. He also told them he wanted to use letters instead of emails because the matter he was writing about was very personal, according to his uncle.

Investigators found Haque's wallet, passport, phone and "various papers" near the lake, prompting scuba divers to search the waters on New Year's Eve, police said.

Among his belongings, his uncle said, the police found a note with his family’s phone number, instructing officers to call them to look after his body.

Friends and family said Haque came to the U.S. about four years ago to attend Wabash College in Indiana, an all-male liberal arts school, where he studied economics.

He visited his parents in Bangladesh during the summer, and spent shorter breaks with his family in New York, his uncle said.

On the night before he disappeared, Haque told Chowdhury and his wife and that he was thinking about applying for a green card and looking for a job after graduation.

His uncle said he did not know what pushed him to suicide, but detectives told him Haque “walked straight [into the water].”

Friends who had created pages on Reddit and Facebook to help find Haque started posting condolences when they learned he had died.

"It didn't matter how you felt; Aronno forced you to love, and laugh. Such a profound joy from such a fleeting moment reflects the caring and thoughtful person that he was, is, and will be," posted Patrick Stroud. "I will miss that."

Chowdhury said Haque will be buried in his native Bangladesh.

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