Towson junior, rugby player found dead Thursday

Family says cause of death is unknown

September 25, 2010|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Abe Cahan loved the Orioles and the Boston Red Sox.

When the two teams played last week, Cahan and his father, John, flew to Boston to root their home team to victory, sporting orange and black inside Fenway Park.

They returned early Wednesday so Abe Cahan, a junior at Towson University, could make his morning classes. On Thursday, after failing to reach his son, John Cahan went to the 20-year-old's off-campus apartment and found him dead.

The medical examiner's office has not yet released a cause of death.

"It's really tragic. He will be missed by so many and remembered by all," said his mother, Hillary Colt Cahan. She described her son as "handsome, smart — a spectacular guy."

At Towson, he was a member of the men's rugby team. On Saturday, Towson University Rugby posted on Cahan's Facebook page: "Towson Men's Rugby Home Opener vs. University of Maryland tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Burdick Field. This one's for you Abe Cahan."

Cahan graduated from Towson High School in 2008, where he played football and baseball, his father said. He was a big sports fan, his father said, and held dual loyalties to the Ravens and the Patriots, but John Cahan said he always sided with the Baltimore team. Abe Cahan liked New England teams because he was born in Vermont, his father said, but the family moved when he started kindergarten.

His parents said he always loved reading and school.

"He was a brilliant young man," his father said, adding that he loved physics and philosophy, his majors at Towson. John Cahan said his son was always liked by teachers at school because he participated in class and always tried to challenge others. His father said Abe was considering law school after graduating from Towson.

"He was very intelligent — he loved to solve problems," Hillary Colt Cahan said. While good a math, he also wrote poetry, loved to debate and read classics such as "The Odyssey" and "The Iliad," she said.

His mother recalled his saying that he uncovered something new each time he read his favorite books. She said one of his favorite authors was Kurt Vonnegut and that he often left book quotes on his Facebook page.

Besides being open to an academic challenge, Abe Cahan was described as handsome and athletic. "He had a big, dazzling smile," she said.

She said he also had a soft, sensitive side, keeping stuffed animals and books from his childhood. He lived alone, but his mother said he had many friends who would often hang out at his place and that he often went to New York City to visit a steady girlfriend, whom he met at a concert.

He liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jimmy's Chicken Shack, Cahan said. But he also had an affinity for classic artists such as Cream and Johnny Cash.

John Cahan said he liked video games — mostly sports games — but also loved the outdoors and camping.

"He was such a great guy," he said. "He had a great personality."

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