Police recover body of man who jumped off DeSoto Bridge into Manatee River

jdeleon@bradenton.June 19, 2013 

PALMETTO— Law enforcement officials confirmed they found the body of a man who jumped off the DeSoto Bridge on Wednesday.

At 11:01 a.m. Thursday a Manatee County Marine Unit deputy spotted the body in the water near where the man is said to have jumped.

Palmetto Police Deputy Chief Scott Tyler said they will not release any additional information about the individual at this time. The family of the registered owners of the vehicle left on the bridge Wednesday have been in contact with police and will make an identification of the body at the medical examiner’s office.

The initial 911 call came in at 3:38 p.m. Wednesday when witnesses saw a man get out of his vehicle and jump in the Manatee River. Tyler said witnesses on the bridge saw the driver ram his white Volkswagen into the side of the railing in an apparent attempt to make it go over. When that he failed he stopped the car, got out and jumped over.

Search and rescue crews from various agencies including Palmetto and Bradenton police, Bradenton Fire Rescue, North River Fire District, Manatee County EMS, U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission searched until sunset.

The recovery operation, at it was deemed late Wednesday, resumed Thursday morning.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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