Ex-roommate's arrest jolts Satti's family, friends

Published: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 12:53 a.m.
Since Sudheer Satti was found dead in his apartment earlier this month, his former roommate, Praveen Vedam, had played a key role in making arrangements and keeping in contact with Satti's family in India, friends and relatives said.
On Thursday, Vedam was arrested for the theft of Satti's missing laptop computer. Those who knew him through the slain University of Florida graduate assistant expressed surprise at the news.
"It's a shock," said Lewis Bryant, a friend of Satti's who said he met Vedam while the two worked with others to make arrangements after Satti's death. Bryant said Vedam "appeared to be just a real nice, genuine, helpful guy," and said he hoped police would not target the wrong person in an investigation.
"Boy it would be a shame to make that link with anybody who's been this helpful," he said.
Satti's brother, Harish, who lives in India, was first told of Vedam's arrest Thursday evening by The Gainesville Sun. He said he spoke with and met Vedam when he and Satti were roommates and has been in regular contact with Vedam since his brother's death.
"I'm in contact with Praveen every day," he said. "He's the only one I'm talking to every day there."
Harish Satti said he was also surprised because the laptop was not among the items listed by police as missing from Satti's apartment at Maguire Village, an on-campus graduate student and family housing complex off SW 34th Street.
"I'm shocked because I thought the laptop was with the police," he said.
Jennifer Jacobs, who had been Satti's faculty adviser at UF, said she and other friends knew Satti's laptop was missing.
Jacobs said she hoped police would make an arrest in Satti's death soon.
"We want this to be solved," said Jacobs, who now works at the University of New Hampshire, where Satti had planned to move to pursue his doctorate.
Rachel Kipp can be reached at (352) 374-5086 or kippr@gvillesun.com.

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