Published On: Thu, Oct 23rd, 2014

Body in Hudson River identified as Paul Kim, police says it was suicide

A body recovered from the Hudson River in New York City has been identified as that of a 20-year-old Fairview man in an apparent suicide, Port Authority police said Thursday.

Paul Kim, 20, is the man found dead in the river Tuesday, near the Intrepid Museum. Authorities confirmed some reports that this was indeed a suicide and told the press that a “passerby found Kim’s bicycle abandoned on the New Jersey-bound south walkway of the George Washington Bridge.

Photo/Minnesota Historical Society via wikimedia commons

Photo/Minnesota Historical Society via wikimedia commons

A search by the Port Authority police Emergency Services Unit and NYPD harbor patrol didn’t immediately find anything, PAPD spokesman Joe Pentangelo said.

A differeent person came upon the abandoned bicycle and notified the PAPD, but the initial search by the harbor patrol and Port Authority Police Emergency Services Unit found nothing.

The body found at the Intrepid showed up a short time later. City police didn’t initially rule a suicide.

During the summer, a “suicide prevention fence” was discussed at length as the Port Authority is planning to construct a 9-foot barrier on the George Washington Bridge at a cost of nearly $50 million to stop the rash of jumpers.

One of the negatives is that the fence wouldn’t be complete until 2022 and is “part of a larger, $1 billion project to refurbish the bridge’s suspension cables and walkways, said Steve Coleman, a PA spokesman to the NY Post.

The agency hopes to, “minimize jumping attempts from the bridge’s walkway as part of the approved suspender-rope replacement project. Installation of the fence will be done as improvements are made to the walkway’s pedestrian and bicyclist access areas,” Coleman said.

The number of suicides from the span once averaged about six annually, but it has gone up in recent years, officials said. So far this year, there have been 13 suicides, a number on pace to eclipse the record 18 in 2012. That year, 43 others tried but failed to take their lives at the bridge. Mr. Kim is now number fourteen.

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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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