LEBANON, Maine (AP) — State police say a skydiving instructor intentionally loosened his harness in midair when he fell to his death in a September tandem jump in Maine.

Police said Monday the state medical examiner’s office ruled 41-year-old Brett Bickford’s death as a suicide.

Bickford, of Rochester, New Hampshire, fell to his death after he and a student became separated during the Sept. 27 jump. Bickford was an instructor with Skydive New England.

Search crews looking for the Maine skydiver. (Image Credit: Maine Warden Service)

State police said interviews with other skydivers and industry officials concluded no experienced skydiver would loosen a parachute harness by mistake.

Both people use the same parachute in a tandem jump. Bickford’s body was found about 750 feet from the Lebanon Airport runway on Sept. 28.

The second man in the tandem jump landed safely with the parachute.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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