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Missing Cal State Fullerton Student Found Dead Off Newport Beach Coast

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The body of a missing Cal State Fullerton student was found floating offshore in Newport Beach yesterday. The body of Praveen Galla, 23, was found by Huntington Beach lifeguards at about 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning, floating in the ocean about 1,000 feet from the Newport Pier, according to the Orange County coroner's office.

Galla, originally from India, was an engineering student at Cal State Fullerton, OC Register reports. He was last seen on Feb. 1 when he took an Uber to the university from his Fullerton apartment, located off-campus. He made it to the university at about 5 p.m., but had not been seen since.

Galla's former roommate, Vinod Alukuru, told the Daily Titan that Galla told him he was going to the school to have a meeting with a professor at 7 p.m. that evening, but was hoping to get there earlier to see a different professor as well. However, the professor told police that they did not have an appointment. Alukuru said that Galla had seemed sad over the past month and was worried about his grades.

"He said, 'I don't want this kind of life. I want to be alone, far from everyone,'" Alukuru said.

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A friend of Galla's indicated that he had seen a notification on his phone, showing that Galla had checked in to Newport Beach that evening, and thought he had perhaps taken a bus there, according to KTLA. Police also searched an apartment building in Newport Beach where Galla's phone was last traced at about 7 p.m., but did not find him.

Capt. Scott Willey of the Cal State Fullerton Police Department told the OC Register Galla was not suicidal, but may have been worried about his grades and his student visa.