A 25-year-old Co Armagh man has been found dead in Philadelphia, just days before he was due to fly home to spend Christmas with his family.
Philip Hagan, a former deputy head boy at The Royal School Dungannon, was tragically found dead by emergency services on Saturday evening after they gained entry to his flat in Philadelphia’s Marine Club Condominiums.
Questions were raised regarding his whereabouts by his work colleagues at the Cigna Health Care on Friday after Philip failed to turn up for his actuarial job at the premises.
Earlier in the week, he had reportedly worked from home for a couple of days after complaining of feeling unwell.
Philip was the youngest son of Aghavilly, Tynan and Middletown Rector Rev Matthew Hagan and his wife Jennifer had lived in Philadelphia for the past two years.
Philip exceeded academically while studying actuarial science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, landing the job at Cigna after impressing the firm during an 11-week internship as part of his course.
Philip’s father said the family was hoping their son’s body would be brought home in the next seven to ten days.
Philip’s elder brother Dr. Jonathan Hagan told the Ulster Gazette that a post-mortem examination had taken place, but the cause of death had still not been determined.
"When we couldn't get in contact on Friday and Saturday, we were wondering why he hadn't been replying," he said.
"When his work colleagues contacted us to say he didn't show into work on Friday, that set alarm bells ringing. He was such an intelligent, friendly young man who had his whole life ahead of him. He was very close to the family and was due to come home for Christmas on December 16.
"The Foreign Office in London have been brilliant and have been offering their support.”
The headmaster at The Royal School Dungannon, Dr. David Burnett, said that the entire school community had been left heartbroken when they received the shocking news of Philip's passing.
"The suddenness and unexpected nature of his death have come as a body blow. There have been quite a few tears shed in the last few days," Dr. Burnett said.
"We have a young man in the prime of his life, whose whole life lay in front of him, and everything about him indicated that he would be successful.Philip was very successful academically, receiving 10 A*s in his GCSEs and two A*s and one A in his A-levels. But for all of his academic results and hard work, it is his great personal characteristics that I remember him for.
"He was always looking out for other people, he was mature and helpful, selfless, responsible and acted with integrity.
"He was an absolute star, the kind of pupil you remember for all the right reasons.
"All the teachers are heartbroken. Many of them would have taught Philip and there will certainly be a presence from the school at the funeral.”
As well as his academic achievements, Philip was a talented guitar player and was involved in his school’s Scripture Union and charity work. He also played cricket and rugby.