A standout teenage soccer player from Montgomery County who vanished this week likely died by suicide, according to the headmaster of the school he attended.
Steve Piltch, the headmaster of the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, sent a letter to the school community about the status of 17-year-old Austin Wylie.
"Although everyone was praying for a good outcome, I do not have good news," Piltch wrote. "Brooksley and Jim asked me to share that on Wednesday afternoon, Austin parked his car at Spring Garden and 5th Street and proceeded to jump off of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Although his body has not yet been recovered, the family thinks it is important for people to know that it has become evident that this is what happened. Honestly, there is no easy explanation for Austin’s decision; although there is no clear basis for why, a note to his family recovered by the authorities from his phone indicates that he was feeling significantly overwhelmed in the moment."
Wylie was reported missing after his car was found abandoned Wednesday at 5th and Spring Garden streets in Philadelphia. Friends and family took to social media to share photos of Wylie after he went missing. A spokesman for the Lower Merion Police Department also told NBC10 that several law enforcement agencies were investigating his disappearance.
While Piltch sent out a statement saying that Wylie likely died by suicide, police have not yet confirmed and a body has not been recovered.
Wylie, who recently finished his junior year at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, was featured in September as the Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week for his achievements as Shipley's forward. He was also selected to All-League and All-State during the past year and was set to be the captain of the 2016-2017 team.
Piltch described Wylie as one of Shipley's "most committed, talented, humble and resilient students."
"Blessed with indefatigable integrity and an insatiable drive to do his best, he loved to learn and accomplished ever so much as a student, athlete, and person," Piltch wrote. "Not one to bring notice to himself, he was a leader by example; he took full responsibility for anything that ever went wrong and did whatever he could to help those around him get better."
Piltch said Wylie's family asked the school to establish a memorial fund in the teen's name though they have not yet determined what specific cause contributed money will go to. The school is also working on a memorial service.
Wylie's apparent suicide comes more than a year after another Shipley student, 13-year-old Cayman Naib, took his own life
SUICIDE PREVENTION: If you know someone who needs help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).