The body of Cafe Coffee Day Founder VG Siddhartha, who went missing on Monday, was found on Wednesday in the Netravati river in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka after 36 hours of intense search, officials said. The body had washed ashore near Ullal and was fished out by local fishermen.
Mangalore MLA U T Khader said friends and relatives have confirmed that the body is of Siddhartha. Earlier, police said the body, which appeared to be of Siddhartha, was yet to be identified by his family. "A body has been found, which appears to be of him. Final confirmation has to be done by the family," Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada District Sasikanth Senthil said.
Mangalore Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil said the body has been kept at Wenlock Hospital for further formalities.
News reports said his last rites would be performed in Chikkamagaluru.
Siddhartha, the founder of India's largest coffee chain, went missing mysteriously on Monday night en route to the coastal city of Mangaluru. Teams of National Disaster Response Force, Coast Guard, Home Guard, fire services, and coastal police scoured the waters under a bridge across the swollen Nethravathi River, where the 60-year-old was reportedly last seen, to trace the coffee tycoon.
Siddhartha, also the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader SM Krishna, was last seen near the bridge in Kotepura area on Monday night, police said. He had left Bengaluru for Sakleshpur in Hassan district in a car on Monday afternoon, but on the way had asked his driver to go towards Mangaluru, police said.
On reaching the bridge, he got off the car and told his driver he was going for a walk. A fisherman had on Tuesday claimed that he saw someone jumping off the bridge.
"He (Siddhartha) asked the driver to wait till his arrival. When he did not return even after two hours, the driver approached the police and lodged a missing complaint," Senthil said.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)