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Police pull body from Normanskill

Police spent the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 18, and part of the preceding night, searching for a Chatham man who apparently committed suicide by jumping from the Route 9W bridge over the Normanskill.

Police spent the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 18, and part of the preceding night, searching for a Chatham man who apparently committed suicide by jumping from the Route 9W bridge over the Normanskill. Tom Heffernan Sr

Police earlier today recovered the body of a 45-year-old man they say jumped to his death from the Route 9W bridge over the Normanskill.

The man, who has not been identified by police but is a resident of Chatham, apparently jumped from the bridge near the Bethlehem-Albany city line during the night.

“It appears to be a suicide at this point, there’s no reason to believe there’s any foul play,” said Lt. Thomas Heffernan of the Bethlehem Police Department.

Bethlehem police and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office conducted the search, which began last night after a report was made of an abandoned vehicle on the bridge. The efforts had to be called off overnight because high winds precluded the use of a helicopter, but the search resumed today. The body was pulled from the river at about 10:30 a.m.

Heffernan said once police located the car last night, Chatham police went to the man’s home and eventually forced entry, where they discovered “some paperwork that gave us reason to believe the operator was despondent and possibly suicidal.”

Police are now speaking with the man’s family, and one detail they’re looking to develop is a reason why the man was in the Bethlehem area. An autopsy is also to be performed.

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