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Police search for runaway Indian Am teen who feared deportation

Conway, Arkansas police continue to search for Tanvi Marupally, an Indian American teenager who is suspected to have run away from home in fear of deportation.

Marupally, 14, was last seen leaving Conway Junior High School on Jan.17, KTHV reported. Her parents notified the police that evening when she did not return home.

This past Tuesday marked the third week since her disappearance. Search parties have been organized to look for her in nearby parks and the county library. 

“It is a big deal, any time a child leaves it’s a big deal,” Conway Police Spokesperson Lacey Kanipe said to KTHV. “We’re continuing to remain positive, our goal is to reunite her with her family.”

Tanvi’s parents believe their daughter ran away in fear of being deported because of the family’s immigrant status, according to KATV

Pavan Roy Marupally, Tanvi’s father, works in the tech industry which allows his family to reside in the U.S. on a work visa. Pavan told KATV that a potential lay-off would force the family to leave the country and return to India, as it previously happened to his wife when she lost her job. 

Pavan told his daughter not to panic when asked what would happen if he lost his work visa. 

“I said…let you and your mom first go back to India, let me figure out what and how the system works out, get a proper job, and then call you back,” Pavan told KATV. “[She said] what, go back to India? Why should I go back to India? I’ve been here.”

Since her disappearance, Pavan told Conway police that he was no longer at risk of losing his job and leaving the country was not a concern at the time. 

“Please come back. Please, Tanvi, try to understand. Please come back,” Tanvi’s mother Sridevi Eadara said to KATV. “Everyday we are walking on the edge, trying to keep her, providing a better life. And safe especially, particularly safe.”

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