The body of Christopher Tully, an award-winning Bucks County technical-school teacher missing since Jan. 6, was found Sunday afternoon on the bank of the Schuylkill, his family confirmed hours later.
Philadelphia police said Tully's body was found caught in the roots of a line of trees along the river by members of Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue, a private firm.
Relatives at the home of Tully's parents in Philadelphia confirmed the discovery. Tully's brother, Edward, announced the family's sad news on the Facebook page Help Find Christopher Tully.
"It has been confirmed that the recovery that took place today was in fact Chris," Edward Tully posted.
Tully, 40, was a teacher at the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology in Warwick. He was named teacher of the year by the Pennsylvania Association for Career and Technical Education in 2014.
"He had given so much," Edward Tully said. "And he had so much more to give."
Christopher Tully's students have nominated him for awards for 15 years, leading to his statewide recognition, Edward Tully said.
Matt Kraft, 28, who took courses for three years with Tully at the Middle Bucks tech school and who now is a professional Web designer, said Tully changed his life.
"I owe everything to him," Kraft, of Jamison, said. "He was always going, pushing, always challenging you to go further."
Kraft said some of Tully's high-school-level students were able to work at paid gigs, helping local businesses with their websites.
He said Bucks County Community College and Temple University upgraded their multimedia programs because students from Tully's classes who later transferred to those schools were exceptionally advanced and demanded better programs.
After Tully went missing, Kraft developed a website that had 45,000 views in three weeks. Kraft said there were postings from numerous countries from educators who knew about Tully's work in technology.
A father of three, Tully had been a passenger in his parents' car about 6:15 a.m. on Jan. 6 when he got out near Ridge Avenue and Lincoln Drive at the I-76 West off-ramp.
Police say he walked toward City Avenue and had not been seen since.
His family has said he suffered from bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication. Edward Tully said relatives - in their long search - wanted to portray the missing man as a person, not just someone suffering with a mental disorder.
Records show Tully and his family have owned their home in Jamison since 2006. Before settling in Bucks County, they lived in Philadelphia.
Police spokeswoman Christine O'Brien said an autopsy was pending and the investigation was active.
Inquirer staff writer Sarai A. Flores contributed to this article.