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Deception death may be suicide

A 39-year-old Marysville man recently arrested on domestic violence charges plunged from the Deception Pass Bridge to his death sometime Friday morning.

A note found in a 1970 Chevrolet pickup registered to the victim and parked in the bridge's south parking lot seems to indicate the fall was not accidental, said Russ Linder, chief of investigations for the Island County Sheriff's Office Friday.

"There's some information that leads us to believe this may have been a suicide attempt," Lindner said.

Rescue teams from Whidbey Island North Fire District 2 retrieved the body at around 10:30 a.m., scaling down in climbing gear from the base of the bridge where it connects with the park's upper scenic path. According to Fire District 2 assistant fire chief Larry Wall, the victim was in such a precarious situation among the rocks that crews transferred him to a boat rather than trying to get him back up the rock face.

"The victim jumped off the bridge, but as many times happens, he didn't make it to the water," Wall said.

Lindner said the location of the body among the rocks might indicate that the victim, unfamiliar with the area, jumped in the early hours of the morning when it was still dark.

The victim, whose name is not being released pending notification of family, was first spotted among the rocks on the Whidbey Island side of the bridge by two separate boaters at around 8:30 a.m. The United States Coast Guard conducted extensive water searches until it was determined that there was only one victim.

"We did a pretty thorough search to the east," Wall said.

Island County Deputy Mark Plumberg was the first person on the scene, having climbed down to administer aid if necessary.

The rescue effort included both Island and Skagit County sheriff's deputies, the Coast Guard, state fisheries personnel, U.S. Navy fire officials and North Whidbey Fire District 2.

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