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    By Times staff reports
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published April 28, 2002


    Man jumps to death from Skyway bridge

    A 34-year-old man abandoned his car on the Sunshine Skyway bridge on Friday and jumped to his death from the southbound span, authorities said.

    Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said Mark Piper, who they believe lived in New Port Richey, was last seen about 11 p.m. Friday by a passing motorist.

    "He had one leg hooked over the guard rail . . . appearing to go over," said Deputy Dan Hillery.

    A Coast Guard crew pulled Piper's body from Tampa Bay about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

    "There was no note," said Deputy J.D. Forbes. But "apparently he had an argument with his father and said he was going to kill himself."

    Piper had been taking antidepressants, deputies said.

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