Crews narrow search area for skydiver in Wash.

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm •  Published: January 5, 2013
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NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) — A more focused search for a skydiver who vanished during a jump above Washington's Cascade foothills failed to locate the Florida man as darkness fell Saturday.

About 145 searchers combed the Mount Si area east of Seattle for 29-year-old Kurt Ruppert, who disappeared Thursday afternoon after he jumped out of a helicopter at 6,500 feet.

King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West said they looked specifically in a quarter-mile-square area near the summit, but kept searching other areas as well.

At the time of the jump, Ruppert, of Lake City, Fla., was wearing a special wing suit with fabric under the arms to allow him to glide like a flying squirrel. The suit is brown and green, and likely blends into the terrain, though his parachute was reportedly blue.

He was skydiving with two friends, and they were taking turns jumping from the helicopter. The friends were waiting at a grassy landing area, but no one saw whether Ruppert's chute deployed.



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