Police: Fleeing suspect jumps from interstate bridge - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police: Fleeing suspect jumps from interstate bridge

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WINDSOR, Vt. -

A tragic end to a violent encounter in the Upper Valley. A suspect in a home invasion in Claremont was killed when he jumped off a 95-foot-high bridge in Windsor.

Officials say Joseph Sylvester, 37, of Claremont, took his own life Thursday. Police say they received a call at 10:45 a.m. from a woman reporting a burglary and attempted aggravated sexual assault at a home on Providence Avenue in Claremont, N.H.

The 26-year-old victim described the suspect to police, now identified as Sylvester and gave a description of his white van. The two knew each other. And she told police that Sylvester indicated on his Facebook page that he intended to take his life.

"They were not married or cohabitants but they were known to one another," Claremont Police Chief Alex Scott said.

Police say they located Sylvester, who had parked on Interstate 91 northbound in Windsor, shortly before 11:30 a.m. They say he had made several indications that he was going to kill himself.

"Text messages, to friends or family as well as a Facebook posting led us to believe that the suspect was suicidal," Scott said.

When he was approached, police say Sylvester did not hesitate and jumped off the 95-foot-high bridge. He died of his injuries.

"Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival as an attempt to make contact with the suspect was made, he leapt from the catwalk and landed on Route 44 which is directly beneath that," Scott said.

Neighbors say Sylvester's victim suffered injuries and is hospitalized at Valley Regional Medical Center. They say they had never heard of him being violent with her before.

With Sylvester now dead, police say they will try to dig deeper into what prompted this man to end his life.

"We will be coordinating with Vermont authorities to review what took place here in Claremont, as well as what took place that led to the incident," Scott said.

Police said prior to this incident, they had no contact with Sylvester. Those we spoke to who know the woman he allegedly tried to assault said they also had no indication that something was awry.

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