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'I'm very sorry': Purdue suspect addresses reporters before first court appearance

Suspect in Purdue student's death.JPG
Posted at 3:37 PM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 18:39:21-04

TIPPECANOE COUNTY — The man accused of killing his roommate in a Purdue University dorm offered an apology to his victim's family before his first appearance before a judge on Friday.

Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis died from "multiple sharp force traumatic injuries," according to the Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office. He was found dead in his dorm room at McCutcheon Hall early Wednesday morning.

Chheda's family has set up a fund with the Riley Children's Foundation in lieu of donations.

His roommate was arrested after he allegedly called 911 and admitted to the crime.

The suspect, who we are not naming because he has not formally been charged, was ushered from his jail cell into a courtroom in the Tippecanoe County Jail for his arraignment on Friday to face charges.

A group of reporters were outside the courtroom as the suspect was ushered in. When one of them asked him what he had to say to Chheda's family he replied "I'm sorry."

When they asked if he had anything to say the suspect stated "I was blackmailed" before being ushered into the courtroom.

The suspect went before the judge as the state requested an additional 72-hour hold continuance while formal charges were being filed. His initial hearing is scheduled for October 13.

Preliminary court documents were filed in Tippecanoe County on Friday.

READ MORE: Concerns linger for international students following killing on Purdue campus

According to those court documents, the suspect called Purdue University Police Department and told them that he had "killed his roommate with a knife".

When officers arrived they found the suspect with what appeared to be blood on his clothing and body and the victim deceased in a chair. A folding knife was also found on the floor near the crime scene, according to court documents.

While in custody, the suspect told police that the knife was his and that he used it to kill Chheda and then called 911.

No additional details about a possible motive were released within the probable cause documents.