Roswell Friend

Roswell Friend , 22, of Cockeysville and a graduate of Dulaney High School, went missing after going for a run near Temple University in Philadelphia. (Baltimore Sun, Handout / August 21, 2011)

Police believe they've discovered the body of a popular former Dulaney High School athlete who went missing last week after going on a jog near his home close to Temple University in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia police say a body was discovered Monday morning in New Jersey fitting the description of Roswell Friend, a 22-year-old who recently graduated from the university. New Jersey State Police, who made no identification, said they recovered the body of a male about 10 a.m. on the shore of the Delaware River in Riverton. The town is about 13 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

A family friend, Unabyrd Wadhams, said Friend's mother was in Philadelphia and called Wadhams on Monday afternoon to convey the news of her son's death. Wadhams said the mother did not know a cause of death and said the police investigation was continuing.

Tonya Little, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia police, told the Towson Times that Friend's father had identified the body earlier Monday.

In a statement Tuesday, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart expressed condolences to Friend's family and friends.

"The death of any member of the Temple community is a loss to us all," the statement said. "Roswell's passing, at a time when his life was full of so much potential, is especially tragic."

Police and friends and relatives had been searching for Friend, who was last seen about 7 p.m. Thursday. Police found his wallet and car keys in his Philadelphia home but his house keys were missing.

The search had involved dozens of people.

Wadhams said people had been organizing as late as 1 p.m. Monday to put up more fliers and continue the search.

"He was just a wonderful, wonderful human being," said Wadhams, who said her son went to high school with Friend. "He always had a smile on his face and was the type of person to make friends very easily. He had just finished his undergraduate studies and had everything ahead of him."

Wadhams said Friend had celebrated his 22nd birthday on July 4 and was looking forward to the future. He'd majored in broadcasting and media and was interviewing for a job at the cable TV company Comcast in Philadelphia.

She said he was the only child of his mother, who had lived in the Cockeysville area for years, and that the former high school and college athlete left behind a large devastated community.

Other friends said he seemed upset before setting off on the run, possibly over rent on the home he shared with several others. They also noted he was a distance runner and sometimes headed through bad neighborhoods.

jay.hancock@baltsun.com

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

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