Body of missing Cal State Fullerton engineering student found in Newport Harbor

A body found floating in the waters off Newport Pier was identified Wednesday as a missing Cal State Fullerton student, authorities said.

The body of Praveen Galla was found 1,000 feet from the pier in Newport Beach, according to the Orange County coroner’s office. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Galla’s roommates reported him missing Feb. 2 after he failed to return home, according to the Cal State Fullerton Police Department.

He had taken an Uber ride on Feb. 1 from Fullerton to the campus and arrived there at 5:06 p.m. A friend reported receiving a "check-in" notification on his cellphone later that Galla had been in the Newport Beach area, police said. Authorities believe that Galla took a bus from Fullerton to Newport Beach.

On Tuesday, lifeguards from Huntington Beach found Galla’s body in the ocean.

Friends told university police that it was unusual for Galla not to return home, and that he was depressed lately about the status of his student visa, according to Capt. Scot Willey.

“From what I understand, he was struggling with his studies and was worried about his status in the country,” Willey said. “His friends said he wasn’t suicidal, but was depressed about it.”

Galla was a second-year engineering student from India.

"Praveen was a bright young mind and a valued member of our campus," Cal State Fullerton President Mildred Garcia wrote in an email to the campus community. "While we are still learning details of the circumstances surrounding his death, we do know that he will be missed. The entire Titan family offers our support to his family, friends and classmates during this trying time."

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