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Student from Cockeysville missing in Philadelphia

Philadelphia police as well as dozens of friends and relatives were searching Sunday for Roswell Friend, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Temple University who went missing last week after going for a run.

A native of Cockeysville who attended Dulaney High School, Friend was last seen around 7 p.m. Thursday. Police searched his home near the university and found his wallet and car keys. Only his house keys were missing.

Unabyrd Wadhams, a family friend, said Friend was an athlete at Dulaney and also at Temple, where he ran cross country. She said her son went to high school with Friend.

"He's just a great kid with a wonderful heart," Wadhams said. "And a bright future."

Friend seemed upset just before setting off on the run, possibly over rent due on a rowhouse he shares with several others, said Tyler Brown, a close friend who lives in Carroll County.

"Sorry guys," Friend wrote to his roommates on a whiteboard, Brown said. On his Facebook page he wrote, "I'm sorry everyone," he said.

At 7:29 p.m. on Thursday Friend texted Brown, writing, "I love you dude." Three minutes later, one of Temple's security cameras captured him running several blocks from his apartment.

"On a good day he can run 15, 20 miles," often toward the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to New Jersey, Brown said. "We do know he was stressed out, so he could easily push himself" beyond that, he added.

Friend's route took him though a rough area near Temple's North Philadelphia campus.

"It was a very bad neighborhood that he ran through," Brown said. "His teammates said that if they run that way they don't do it at night."

Friend graduated from Temple two weeks ago, having studied broadcasting and media. He had been interviewing for a job at Comcast, the cable-TV company based in Philadelphia, Brown said. A third interview had been scheduled for Friday, Brown said. Friend didn't show up.

On Sunday more than two dozen friends headed in different directions from Friend's house, tracing his possible routes, putting up fliers and seeking witnesses.

Several Temple security cameras and one from a nearby pharmacy captured Friend early in his run, Brown said. The searchers hoped to get new information Monday from cameras owned by businesses that were closed for the weekend.

By several accounts, Roswell Friend lives up to his surname. He has 1,510 Facebook friends. Dozens of Twitter posts from friends sought prayers and information over the weekend.

"He literally loves being a friend," Brown said. "I've never seen that guy without a phone in his hand. He's constantly texting everybody, trying to get people to do things. He's the most outgoing person I've ever met."

After he disappeared, Friend's friends were texting him.

"You're too nice of a guy" to go missing, said the messages, according to Brown, who had Friend's phone. "You've always been there for us. This is not like you."

Anyone with information on Friend is asked to call Temple police at 215-204-1234.

jay.hancock@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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