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The Latest: Search team finds body of skydiving instructor

September 28, 2018

LEBANON, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the search for a missing skydiving instructor in Maine (all times local):

7:31 p.m.

Authorities in Maine have found the body of a skydiving instructor who became separated from his student during a tandem jump.

Officials say 41-year-old Brett Bickford of Rochester, New Hampshire, and his student participated in a jump around 2 p.m. Thursday near Skydive New England in Lebanon. The student called police after he landed safely and couldn’t find his instructor.

Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service, says a search team found Bickford’s body shortly before 5:30 p.m., about 750 feet (228 meters) from the Lebanon Airport runway.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says investigators determined the instructor and student became separated about a mile above the ground. McCausland says the instructor didn’t have a backup parachute.

Both people use the same parachute in a tandem jump. Police aren’t sure how the skydivers became separated.

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9:43 a.m.

Authorities in Maine are searching for the body of a skydiving instructor who became separated from his student during a tandem jump.

Officials say 41-year-old Brett Bickford of Rochester, New Hampshire, and his student participated in a jump around 2 p.m. Thursday near Skydive New England in Lebanon. The student called police after he landed safely and couldn’t find his instructor.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says investigators determined the instructor and student became separated about a mile above the ground. McCausland says the instructor didn’t have a backup parachute.

Both people use the same parachute in a tandem jump. Police aren’t sure how the skydivers became separated.

Authorities suspended the search around 9 p.m. Thursday and resumed Friday morning.

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