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'He touched a lot of people in a positive way': Varun Chheda's parents remember son killed in Purdue dorm

varun chedda
Picture of Varun and the vigil held for him
Posted at 2:08 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 17:16:27-04

WEST LAFAYETTE (ABC News/WRTV) — The parents of a Purdue student killed in his dorm room earlier this month are sharing their grief and how they want to honor him.

Police say Varun Chheda, 20, died in "an unprovoked attack" after he was stabbed multiple times, allegedly by his roommate.

"I miss him terribly. Because he was my son, because he was my friend," Seema Dedhiya, Chheda's mom, told ABC News in a new interview.

Dedhiya drove Chheda back to Purdue after a long weekend with family. Chheda texted "goodnight mama" around 11:45 p.m.

varun chheda family

Later that night, the data science major was gaming online with friends when the attack happened. Purdue University police found Chheda dead shortly after 12:40 a.m. Oct. 5 as they responded to McCutcheon Hall.

"You would never believe it in a million years. I mean, I would believe that, you know, there could be a fire or there could be an earthquake, or there could be, you know, a car wreck or any other kind of, you know, accident, but never, never something like this," Manish Chheda, Varun's dad, said.

An autopsy found Varun died from "multiple sharp force trauma" injuries to his head and neck. His death was ruled a homicide.

Both parents want to honor their son by living as he did: with compassion, kindness and a curiosity for life.

"What will you miss most?" asked ABC's Eva Pilgrim.

"His laugh [and] his brilliance," Dedhiy said.

"In the time that he had, he touched a lot of people in a positive way," Manish said.

You can read more about Varun here.