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Body pulled from Missouri River in May was of man who jumped from bridge with daughter

Updated: 2013-07-08T23:26:51Z


The Kansas City Star

Authorities have identified a body pulled from the Missouri River near Sugar Creek in May as that of the 64-year-old father who jumped from the Christopher S. Bond Bridge while holding hands with his daughter in March.

The 29-year-old daughter’s body has not been found.

On March 21, the pair apparently drove from the home they shared in Peculiar to the bridge, where they parked her truck. They then clasped hands, with the daughter clutching her dog in a blanket, and plunged 120 feet off the bridge together.

The father’s body was found May 10 by fishermen near LaBenite Park, near Missouri 291.

The man’s ex-wife said authorities called her and wanted to know details about her ex-husband’s body, including scars and marks, to help identify him. Police also recovered his toothbrush to compare DNA. She and her son do not want his name published.

The father’s body was cremated but won’t be buried until the daughter’s body is found, said his ex-wife, who is the mother of the daughter.

“We plan on burying them side by side,” she said.

The mother said she has accepted that her daughter is gone but still wants to find her body for some measure of closure.

“Right now, I have none,” she said. “I cry for my daughter every single day.”

She also is preparing for the possibility that her daughter’s body might never be found.

The father and daughter had battled depression, relatives said. They did not leave a suicide note.

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to

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