Authorities recover body of Holden man believed to have jumped off Penobscot Narrows Bridge

By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff
Posted May 20, 2013, at 12:11 p.m.

VERONA ISLAND, Maine — Police have recovered and identified the body of a Holden man believed to have committed suicide Monday by jumping off the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

A multi-agency search team was assembled early in the morning after a passing motorist reported an abandoned pickup truck on the bridge at 3:20 a.m. Police found a wallet and cellphone in the truck, said Jeff Trafton, chief sheriff’s deputy of Waldo County.

Trafton said the body was identified as Jeffrey Landwehr, 51, of Holden. The sheriff’s office is still investigating the circumstances of Landwehr’s death, Trafton said, but the department has classified it as a suicide.

“He has been identified as the gentleman who owned the pickup, and we assume he jumped,” he said.

The body was found by a nearby resident around 1:30 p.m., while Marine Patrol was still searching, Trafton said. The woman called 911 to report she had found a body in the water, on the Bucksport side of the river. Waldo County Deputy Benjamin Seekins and Marine Patrol recovered and identified the body.

At first, emergency responders didn’t know for sure whether anyone had jumped, but the early-morning call kicked off a search effort. Bucksport’s search boat was in the water by 4:30 a.m., said Fire and EMS Director Craig Bowden. Marine Patrol and the Coast Guard joined shortly thereafter.

Landwehr’s suicide is the second at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge in fewer than two months, after Brandon Cossette, 25, of Eddington pulled over and leapt to his death on April 1.

There have been at least four deaths from jumping or falling from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge since the span opened in 2006.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/20/news/hancock/authorities-suspect-man-jumped-from-penobscot-narrows-bridge/ printed on August 20, 2014