Published: 06:48, 23 April 2017 |
Updated: 07:21, 23 April 2017
A teenage male model has been found dead shortly before he was due to fulfil his dream of climbing Mount Everest.
Alasdair Russell, 19, was said to have died in "tragic circumstances" just two weeks before he was due to attempt a world record.
He was hoping to become the youngest person to complete the fastest ascent of the world's highest mountain.
Now police are investigating, after his body was found at an address near Miami, Florida, on April 1.
The teenager, from Shipbourne, is a former Tonbridge School pupil.
He had already broken youth ascent records, climbing Aconcagua and Alpamayo peaks in South America and was due to embark on his adventure in Nepal this week.
Now the mother of the promising athlete, who harboured dreams of becoming an Olympic rower, has spoken of her loss at his death.
Writing on a JustGiving page to raise awareness for male cancer awareness, she said: "On Saturday April 1st due to tragic circumstances my family lost 19-year-old Alasdair.
"He was funny, smart and beautiful and meant great deal to anyone who knew him.
"He had already climbed two mountains with 7,000 meter peaks including Aconcagua and Alpamayo, starting at the age of 14 to raise awareness for male cancer as this was a cause very close to his heart.
"Later on this month he had planned to climb Mount Everest and he would've been the youngest British male to ever do a rapid ascent.
"My family and I are grateful for any donations you can give to go towards a cause that meant so much to Alasdair and to our family. "
In a separate tribute, Kathleen Russell, 55, told the Times: "Alasdair was a dreamer and the driving force in his life was to climb Everest."
Broward sheriff's office said there was an investigation into the teenager's death after his body was found at a property overlooking the ocean, 40 miles north of Miami.
Mr Russell is said to have left Britain after completing his A levels at Tonbridge School last summer.
He enrolled on a cinematography degree at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with ambitions to become an actor.
According to the Mail, he was scouted by model agents DT Model Management who described him as a 'beautiful soul' who had gone too soon.
Tributes have now been paid to the youngster.
Jessica Z Beauty said on Facebook: "Alasdair, you brought so much kindness, energy & such an epic accent to the shoot last fall.
"Heaven gained another young bundle of light, laughter & spunk. Praying for your family."
His model agency DT Model Management posted: "In loving memory of Alasdair Russell - a beautiful soul gone far too soon.
"We only knew you a short time, but we will never forget the day you came into the agency.
"When Ricardo scouted you and brought you into the office, we all agreed to sign you at first sight! You were handsome, charismatic, fearless, and full of spunk.
"You reminded us of a little Hugh Grant with your charming demeanor. You always made us laugh whenever David would ask you to say “I’m Bond, James Bond” .
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