Two friends, and students of the same local high school, took their own lives within days over the holiday break. Now those close to them are asking 'why?'.

15-year old Ado Halkic, a freshman at Burlington Township High School, was found hanged in his bedroom inside his family's home on New Year's night, a short time after he made plans with his father to spend the night watching college football.

Then on January 5, his good friend and fellow BTHS student, 18-year old Mike Steve, a senior, was also found hanged inside his Burlington City home, NBCPhiladelphia.com reports.

Halkic and Steve were longtime friends who trained together at the JBM Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Edgewater Park the past eight years.

JBM Gym Director Victor Lopez told NBC Philadelphia, "It has been shocking news for us that two of our students, one who was 15 and another who was 18, have committed suicide. Both of them were a part of our Jiu Jitsu Academy that we treated as extended family..."

The high school released a statement regarding the boys' deaths:

"Needless to say, the past few days have been painful for our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been touched by the sudden death of two of our high school students," the school said. "It is in times like these that we need to come together as a community to support each other."

Both the high school and the jiu jitsu academy held events Tuesday night to offer guidance and support on how to cope with the loss.