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August 28. 2014 4:10PM

Nashua man who died jumping off bridge to escape heat identified

NASHUA - Authorities have identified the man who was found dead after jumping 35 feet into the Merrimack River earlier this week.

Police say Ronald Deldotto, 43, of Nashua, intentionally jumped off the Veteran's Memorial Bridge about 6:40 p.m. on Tuesday.

"There are no signs that this was an attempt to end his life," said Hudson Police Capt. Bill Avery, adding the death was not intentional. "This is not criminal in nature."

Avery said his department has been working diligently on the case to try and determine a timeline of events, and what led to Deldotto's jump and ultimate passing. Although authorities are still investigating, Avery said it appears that Deldotto was traveling in a car with another person when he indicated that he was hot and wanted to jump into the water.

"The water level is so low right now, which makes that fall even farther from the bridge," said Avery. "It is very sad."

The Nashua Fire Department's dive team initially searched for the missing man for about two hours on Tuesday evening, but was unable to locate him. On Wednesday, the search resumed with assistance from the Marine Patrol and New Hampshire Fish and Game, and his body was located with assistance from witnesses who were able to pinpoint the approximate location of where the man had jumped.

"Jumping off bridge abutments or railroad trestles is extremely dangerous, especially in rivers. Although the current right now is not strong, it is still an extremely dangerous thing to do," said Avery, adding multiple people have attempted that jump in past years and did not survive.

"There are other ways to entertain yourself," said Avery, warning anyone who might considering jumping off a bridge for recreational purposes.

The water, in some levels of the river between Nashua and Hudson, is currently only about 6 to 8 feet, said authorities.

An autopsy was conducted by the state medical examiner on Thursday, however those results were not immediately available, according to Avery.

khoughton@newstote.com



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