Edinburgh academic with 'bright and promising future' found dead in flat aged 32

By Sian Traynor

Tributes have flooded in for an Edinburgh academic who tragically passed away over New Year.

Rodrigo Rodrigues was found after he had passed away in his Newington flat at some point between December 31 and January 2, aged just 32-years-old.

Working as a post-doctoral fellow in biomedical sciences at The University of Edinburgh, friends of Rodrigo described him as someone who had a "bright and promising future ahead of him."

Originally from Brazil, Rodrigo had moved to Edinburgh after completing a PhD at St Catherine's College, Cambridge University, in 2019.

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With Rodrigo set to have had a "promising" career in the field of cancer research, close friend Daniel shared an emotional tribute to Rodrigo online after discovering he had passed away.

Having been supposed to meet Rodrigo on Hogmanay, Daniel stated he had become extremely concerned when he hadn't heard from his friend by January 2.

Sharing the heartbreaking ordeal, Daniel wrote: "We decided to spend our New Year’s Eve together with a couple other friends in central Edinburgh.

"When I messaged Rodrigo on 31st to confirm our meeting time, his phone was off. My assumption - that I will certainly regret for the rest of my life - was that he just wanted some time alone.

"Since Rodrigo and I would always meet in other locations I never actually had his exact address of the last three months, only an approximate area.

"This meant by Sunday January 2, when I was starting to become really concerned - I phoned NHS Lothian admissions to confirm he wasn't in hospital, social services and the police - the only option available was a missing person report, which seemed very heavy-handed for someone who maybe just wanted to be left alone.

"By Monday 3rd, Rodrigo's brother had reached out to me. We were able to figure out the address and I arrived perhaps an hour after the police. My heart was broken on the doorstep of his building."

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After learning of his death, it was confirmed Rodrigo did not have life insurance, with his loved ones in Brazil now struggling to meet funeral, travel and legal costs.

Creating an urgent fundraiser to help the family of his close friend, Daniel described Rodrigo as a "patient and kind friend" who has a "dedicated scientist."

Writing on the Go Fund Me, he added: "His family were very proud of him, and he was known to a great many fellow academics and friends throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.

"The family wish to have a cremation and service in Edinburgh, and a service of remembrance for the wider family within the Church of Seventh Day Adventists in his home country of Brazil.

"I have been helping the family - initially with the language barrier, and now with some of the necessary arrangements.

"So, I, Adriano - Rodrigo's brother in Brazil, Natali of the Brazilians in Edinburgh group - who has been very kind, compassionate and helpful over these most difficult of days - and Marcia of the Brazilian Embassy in London present this fundraiser in hopes of alleviating Rodrigo's parents and family of at least one of the pains of losing a beloved family member."

You can donate to the fundraiser here.


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