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Student dead, cause unknown

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 14:23 26/06/2014
SRIKANTH RAYADURGAM: Was last seen at midday October 1 when leaving his Mt Albert home.
SRIKANTH RAYADURGAM: Was last seen at midday October 1 when leaving his Mt Albert home.

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An Auckland man who disappeared in 2009 has been declared dead, though how he died remains a mystery.

Srikanth Rayadurgam, 23, went missing on October 1, 2009.

His wallet, cellphone and left shoe and were discovered at Westhaven Marina on the day he vanished and his backpack and coat were found in the water. 

His body has never been found.

Coroner Gordon Matenga today said he was satisfied that Rayadurgam was dead but there was not enough evidence to rule that it was either a suicide or some other means.

Rayadurgam's family do not believe it was suicide and brother-in-law Nagesh Kakanoor, who was present at the hearing, said Rayadurgam was strong mentally and physically.

Kakanoor said he thought it was pertinent that Rayadurgam was wearing about $5000 worth of jewellery the night he disappeared including a gold and platinum chain, a solid gold bracelet and a DKNY watch.

"It seems that something must have happened to him," Kakanoor said.

Coroner Matenga said Rayadurgam had problems with his university studies and had not attended classes for weeks leading up to his death.

"Police suggest in their view the most likely explanation is that he has caused himself some harm that has caused his death," he said.

However, he said he could not just rule it was suicide because it was likely or logical.

"I am satisfied that Srikanth is deceased, however, I am not satisfied to the standard required that he has caused his own death."

The Coroner said there was "insufficient evidence of suicide, insufficient evidence of accidental death".

Police said their case was still open.

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