An Indian-American teenager in California who went missing last Sunday was found dead in his vehicle on February 27 by a bicyclist.
Atharva Chinchwadkar, 19, went to buy dog food around 6:24pm on Sunday, February 21, and never returned, his mother Yashashree Chinchwadkar told indica News before his body was discovered a few miles away from his home near Sunol and Fremont.
It’s not clear how Atharva landed up there and why he took the opposite route since he was supposed to go to the Union City Petco.
Fremont police did not respond to the email sent by indica News, but according to Sfagte.com the city of Dublin office of the California Highway Patrol received a call of an overturned vehicle off the roadway on Calaveras Road west of Welch Creek.
A bicyclist had stopped there and observed a gray Toyota Camry upside down approximately 100 feet down into a canyon. Alameda County firefighters rappelled down the ravine to find the driver deceased in the vehicle.
When the vehicle was recovered, it was confirmed that the driver had been reported missing out of Fremont last Sunday. There were no skid marks where the vehicle left the roadway.
Atharva was a second-year student at the University of California Santa Cruz and wanted to become a doctor. Due to the pandemic, he was studying from home.
He was a loving, caring son, his mother Yashashree told indica News.
“Atharva, is a Fremont boy, he did his schooling here and went to American high school,” she said.
She said he was fond of cooking. He had cooked pasta on Sunday, happy he got a job offer from his karate instructor. He was a blackbelt and had participated in half-marathons with his mother as well.
“He was very excited the day he left home to buy dog food,” she said.
“I am afraid of dogs but this past November on his birthday, I bought him a dog,” said Yashashree. “When I asked what he wants for his birthday, he thought mom will not buy a dog but I got him a husky and we named him Bruno [seen in photograph on top].”
Choking back her tears, Yashashree said: “I keep calling out now and then, Atharva, can you make tea, and then realize he is not home.”
Weeks ago, Atharva cooked for and hosted his younger brother Ameya’s birthday. He used to cook great omelets, said his mother. “I am vegetarian but I love the omelet he cooks, and the Chinese fried rice,” she said.
“Sometimes I would say you would be a good chef, Atharva,” she added.
Atharva, she said, would always let his parents know if he would be coming late.
“Sunday he went out in a casual dress, he was in his slippers and a yellow top and a cap. He did not carry anything with him and has not used the credit card since that day,” Yashashree told indica News before she got to know of her son’s body being found.
“Atharva is loving, friendly, and helping. He loves to drive,” the mother said. “We all are terribly missing him.”
Atharva’s father suffered a stroke a few years ago and stays home.