CHESTER - The hunt for the perpetrator of a violent domestic assault in Chester came to an abrupt end when the suspect jumped off the Jennings Randolph Bridge into the Ohio River late Tuesday afternoon.
The suspect's name is not being released pending notification of family members.
Hancock County Sheriff Mike White said the suspect, described as being in his early 50s, had attacked his wife with a pipe shortly after 4 p.m. She was able to escape to a neighbor's house after their adult son intervened. Neighbors tended to the injuries of the mother and son, and called 911 as the suspect fled the scene.
River rescue units from Chester and Newell volunteer fire departments search the Ohio River for signs of the body of a man who jumped from the Jennings Randolph Bridge late Tuesday afternoon. The man was wanted by police in connection with a brutal domestic assault in Chester before taking his own life. (Photo by Richard Sberna)
According to White, Chester Police officers saw the suspect's truck headed west-bound on U.S. Route 30 toward the bridge, but had to turn around in order to pursue him. Once on the bridge, they found his truck abandoned on the right-side shoulder. "The truck was parked and he was nowhere in sight," White said.
A passing motorist witnessed the suspect stop his truck, exit the vehicle and jump off the bridge. Chester Volunteer Fire Department was called immediately, with assistance from Newell Volunteer Fire Department.
White stated that eyewitness testimony and evidence found at the scene led police to the conclusion that he did not survive. "They [Chester and Newell VFDs] deployed some boats in the water in an attempt to do a rescue, but that became a recovery at this time," he said. Efforts to drag the river were started, but had to be called off as darkness fell. White says efforts to locate the body will resume Wednesday morning.
The suspect's wife and son were taken by ambulance to East Liverpool City Hospital for what White described as significant but non-life-threatening injuries. Both were treated and released Tuesday night.