Reny Jose likely drowned under the influence of LSD, say police in Panama City Beach

March 13, 2014  

Rice University student missing since March 3rd.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Police in Panama City Beach are now saying that missing Rice University student Reny Jose likely drowned, and may have been under the influence of LSD.

The report comes from Alabama local news source AL.com, which says that Panama City Beach has been marred by an unusually high number of fatal and near-fatal accidents during this year’s spring break activities in the Florida beach town.

Jose was staying with some friends in a beachfront house they rented for their spring break vacation, but went missing on the night of March 3. Police found several of Jose’s clothes and personal effects in a trash can near the house soon after his disappearance was reported, and an extensive search has been orchestrated by local authorities over the last 10 days.

Related Story: Congressman Paul Tonko consoles family of Reny Jose at vigil held at the Hindu Cultural Center

The report that Jose may have been high on LSD – a synthetic, hallucinogenic drug that causes severe mental trips lasting last 8-12 hours – jives with what his friends said in the days immediately following his disappearance. There was also speculation that Jose may have gone into the ocean at that time, too, but reports indicated that most beach-goers were staying away from the water because, at this time of the year, it is still quite cold.

What’s new is that police seem to have concluded that Jose has, in fact, drowned. In their statements to police early on in the investigation, Jose’s friends said that he made strange remarks about wanting to inflict harm upon himself, but other friends and family members have negated this, saying that Jose was a smart and lively young man who was about to graduate with a 4.0 GPA, and was looking forward to finding a job.

The temperature of the water may have contributed to Jose’s death if, in fact, he really did drown. The fact that Jose got rid of his clothes and cell phone before missing also gels with the idea that he went into the water on the night of March 3. LSD, which is short for Lysergic acid diethylamide, is an illegal Schedule I controlled substance in the US; psychedelic drug usage is common during events such as spring break.

Dive teams are currently searching the waters in the Gulf of Mexico, where Jose would have been swimming on the night he went missing. Meanwhile, his family is holding out hope that Jose is alive somewhere. The Facebook page created to spread awareness of his disappearance continues to gain followers, and donation money continues to come in to help fund the search efforts.

“I just wanted to thank everyone for their support. Your kind words, thoughts and prayers have kept us hopeful,” Reashma Jose, Reny’s sister, posted on the Facebook page. “Waiting to hear the news of Reny’s whereabouts each day has been agonizing. We ask that you please continue to keep us in your prayers. Reny is very much a pillar in our family and just as he would never give up on us, we refuse to give up on him. Thank you all again for everything.”

Those with any information about Jose’s potential whereabouts are encouraged to call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office at 747-4700 or Crime Stoppers at 785-TIPS.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

  • john

    Keep the faith….

  • tony smith

    I think those friends know something. The have said NOTHING to the media at all. This means – they did something criminal that night — either using drugs, drugging him or otherwise harming him.

    • lalitha

      Somebody commented to the news article in Panama city News Herald about Reny like this:
      “guess you havent dealt first hand with the deaths that go unreported in this town during spring break – I have ……. 3 kids died in back of a local bar last spring break and it was seen by many but never on the news – so lets talk rumors ……”
      Reply · 3 · · March 6 at 6:37pm

      So, those criminals will graduate and get white collar jobs, with the help of high profile lawyers, when the 4.0 honor student won’t. Also there are businesses like night clubs who wants the Spring breaker’s money, and do not want any negative publicity for this beach.

    • Laura

      Tony, you’re an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    Can you post the source to where u got the LSD information I think you’re painting a negative image about a missing person and without a reliable source to back up these statements that is unfair

    • tony smith

      Just google. The Florida cops reported this, and this accompanied the very first stories. That’s what his friends told the police

      • A

        This is what ONE person staying at the beach cabin told police. Not his friends, not multiple people, just one person who possibly might not have liked Reny very much. Without the body, there is not really enough evidence to even suggest this claim might be true and so I really think the police are jumping to conclusions.

  • Anonymous

    This article is unbelievably poorly written. News reporting should, in general, avoid repeating speculation and unsupported “facts,” however, this article regurgitates rumors without any evidence or quotations from the police or reports themselves. Please consider the fact that articles such as these do more harm than good and that by printing unfounded and biased information, Jose’s character and integrity are both being directly assaulted.

  • Darshan Tolat MD

    I am a father of a Rice graduate and can only imagine the extreme hell Reny’s parents and siblings are going through. My prayers go out to them every waking hour and wish to give them some words of support and comfort. As we search for Remy we also should search for his soul. Somehow and someway his soul was stolen from Reny himself and from his family. Reny’s soul is pure and innocent and cannot be destroyed by any physical act or any drug. As the search for Reny continues, his soul is not lost at all but here with us. I feel the presence of his soul around us and if a human devil has stolen his soul, that human devil has failed. Reny’s soul cannot be bought or sold by any single act or any single drug. If we do not find Reny, we know his soul is around us and is pure and innocent. Reny may had to fight the demons that we do not see around us and may not have won his battle but may have won our hearts. Any Rice parent will go to the gates of hell to save a Rice student and the battle to find and save Reny may have just begun. Reny will be found one way or another and the human devil or devils who took an an innocent boy away from his family will be defeated by love. Remember always that God is love and love is God. All Rice parents now are Reny’s parents and all Rice students are Reny’s siblings forever.

  • Susan Varghese

    I agree – please post your sources or take this story down. On what basis are you defaming this missing boy? The website cited – “al.com” seems to be nothing more than a collection of blogs – hardly a credible source. Stay strong Jose family.

  • April

    Every young person makes some poor judgement calls. I know this could have happened in Reny’s case
    but I don’t think saying this is “Likely” as if they’ve given up on other scenarios.
    A 4.0 engineering student is too smart to have brought something like this on “through” his own
    Judgement call. Some others in the group know Something! Why did no nobody step up to
    The plate to protect or intervene him from harm. If he took that kind of drug, he was misled or tricked
    Or ganged up on. I am sure this is NOT enough investigative work going on. I guarantee others are involved and covering their own skins. Only a couple boys stayed to look foo
    R him a couple of extra days. They all high tailed it back to TX. That in itself tells us a lot!
    The possibility of foul play is not being thoroughly investigated. This is an outrage to dismiss this
    This as completely self-inflicted.

  • Anonymous

    It is ridiculous to publish baseless news about a missing person. The police must investigate the student who gave this information. Who saw him taking LSD? What was this friend doing there? They ignored the fact that he was under the influence of LSD, where they all? If they weren’t, why these friends didn’t stop him? These friends should be investigated thoroughly, if any truth to come out.

  • Anonymous

    I really do think his friends play a part in this! The fact that they cut their trip short and claim that he had ‘self harm/suicidal thoughts’ totally oppose the position he was in-about to graduate, looking for a job, 4.0! God forbid if he is found in the waters the police are more likely to stand by what his friends said. Shouldn’t they question the friends in detail?! What friends cut short their trip and leave instead of staying and helping out with search efforts etc?

  • Sherry Nassar

    My heart breaks for Reny’s family – they will grieve his loss forever. Young people are risk takers. But parents know that life is fragile and would do anything to protect their kids if they could. To the person who thinks this paints a negative image…. I don’t see it being negative about Reny. It’s a cautionary tale but he was still the fine loving young man whose family and friends loved him dearly and always will.

  • Bring Reny Home

    I think his friends play a part in this! If he had ‘self harm/suicidal thoughts’ they should have alerted the police sooner. He was about to graduate, looking for a job, 4.0 GPA. One mention of drugs and he is dismissed like a criminal. Someone knows something and should come forward before its too late. God forbid if he is found in the waters. They should question the friends in detail?! What kind of friends cut short their trip and leave. GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY!

    PLEASE BRING RENY HOME!

  • Anon

    I really don’t think his friends had a role to play in this, This may be hard for some of you swallow the 4.0 is only one part of the story, As Indian American kids growing up we find ways to balance our social life from our family life, and we scratched and clawed to find diversions to do things we wanted to do that we knew our parents would never do , If my parents ever found out about the high school parties I went to I’d be going to a community college just so my parents can keep me in check………… Lets not make any accusations until we get real facts, and most of all lets stop all the negativity and pray for a safe return of Reny

  • April

    I don’t think we are being negative, we desperately want some answers for Reny’s family. The police have said they didn’t suspect foul play from day 2. How could they have possibly have done a thorough investigation. It’s Panama City Beach, this happened a couple of blocks from a house I have down there. It was rainy and windy and very chilly that Monday evening. Nobody would have been walking the beach if there wasn’t something else going on that night. It’s all so very sad that no real insight is being offered about the evening and the activities and who else may have been around the night Reny went missing. :(

  • disqus_JNr8cF1G9n

    I could see if he went in the water.. he’d take his clothes off and put his cell down on the beach… but why would he put them in a dumpster? It sure sounds to me like someone else threw them in there and somebody knows more than they’re
    saying. I hope his family gets some closure……

  • Ginny Chin

    They should Definately interview his friends in the house. There’s no way that know one knows what happen to him. I think someone in the group is intimidating all to keep their mouths shut.
    Are they his true friends?

  • John J

    Reny has still not been found. Its been 3 + months, where is he? Is he still alive? Maybe he’s injured and another family taking care of him? Maybe he is really gone. Who knows, its been soo long! The human body can go so long without food and water. But until questions are answered, I’m still #TeamReny

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