- The UCSC student was last seen leaving his home to get dog food and didn’t return.
Atharva Chinchwadkar, an Indian American teenager who went missing from his Fremont, California home on Feb. 23, is dead. The 19-year-old, who is a student at University of California Santa Cruz, was found dead in his car on Feb. 27, by a bicyclist.
Local news reports say Chinchwadkar was found in an overturned vehicle in an unincorporated area of Alameda County near Sunol and Fremont. The Dublin office of the California Highway Patrol, was alerted of the accident by the bicyclist who had stopped there and observed a gray Toyota Camry upside down approximately 100 feet down into a canyon. Alameda County Fire Department firefighters rappelled down the ravine to find the driver deceased in the vehicle, who was later identified as Chinchwadkar. There were no skid marks where the vehicle left the roadway.
Chinchwadkar was driving the dark grey 2010 Toyota Camry 4 door sedan. He was last seen by his parents on Feb. 21, at approximately 6:00 p.m., when he left his residence to get dog food and didn’t return. Police speculated then Chinchwadkar may head towards Santa Cruz where he is a student at UCSC but does not have a residence there. It is not clear why he took the opposite route to the pet store close to their home.
Family and friends had begun a rescue mission to find Chinchwadkar. Many took to social media to grieve the teen. “My family grieves heavily with the many friends and family of Atharva Chinchwadkar,” Teresa Cox wrote on Facebook. “Atharva will have a special place in our hearts forever. Atharva was a kind, smart, and talented volleyball player. Atharva #8 and my son, David #24 played on the Endline AAU Volleyball team together. He played for American HS and David for Irvington HS in the same Fremont High School League.”
Several others posted the message of his death and offered condolences to his family. “We all are very devastated and heartbroken to learn that he succumbed to the injuries of the car accident,” a message being circulated on Facebook said.