04/05/2013 05:10 pm ET

Lee Halpin, Filmmaker, Dies While Investigating Homelessness For Journalism Internship

British filmmaker Lee Halpin was found dead Wednesday morning in an abandoned hostel after he set out to spend a week sleeping in the streets to investigate the perils of homelessness in England, according to the Newcastle Chronicle.

Halpin's quest was part of an application to a prestigious investigative journalism internship with England's Channel 4 News, which asks applicants to describe a time they were "fearless" in pursuit of a story.

The night before he set out to spend a week living among vagrants and "scrounging" for food, Halpin, 26, recorded a video of himself as part of his application to Channel 4 News.

"I hope that you perceive this to be a fearless approach to a story," Halpin says in the video. "It has certainly caused a huge amount of trepidation among my family and friends."

It's thought that Halpin may have succumbed to hypothermia; temperatures the night he died dropped to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the Chronicle reported. (Halpin also appears to have asked to borrow a sleeping bag shortly before leaving home.)

But the Chronicle also notes that police have arrested two young men in connection with Halpin's death -- on "suspicion of supplying controlled drugs." The men were released on bail, police said, according to The Independent.

Authorities said they don't think a third party was involved in Halpin's death.

Halpin's promise was evident from his resume: He earned a Master's degree in creative writing and was an editor of Novel Magazine, which covers art and culture in Newcastle.

Channel 4, the media outlet to which Halpin was applying, has written a story about his death and said it is "saddened to learn of the tragic death of this aspiring young journalist."

(h/t ITV News)



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