Body of missing skydiver found in Lebanon

The Maine Warden Service says the body of 41-year-old skydiving instructor Brett Bickford has been found. (Maine Warden Service)

LEBANON (WGME) – The body of a skydiving instructor has been found just one day after his deadly fall during a lesson.

Gabrielle Huotari says she feels terrible knowing her skydiving instructor is now dead, according to state police.

"To hear that he had something like this happen is just a shock, because he really knew what he was doing and it shows that no matter what it's a risk," Huotari said.

State police say 41-year-old Brett Bickford died after an unknown problem caused him to become detached from his parachute and tandem student jumper during a session at Skydive New England.

It was the same type of jump Bickford did with Huotari a couple weeks ago.

"Well it's hard to think that you were doing a crazy kind of event with someone recently, and just one thing can change and they're gone," Huotari said.

Bickford's body was recovered by game wardens Friday evening around 5:30, according to Skydive New England.

An investigation is now underway to determine what went wrong.

"You're so hooked into this harness, so it's crazy that something like that could happen," Huotari said.

Skydive New England officials say their hearts go out to the Bickford family, and that they will fully cooperate with law enforcement to find out what happened.

"I skydive knowing there's a risk no matter what,” Huotari said. “I think that anybody who plans to skydive needs to know that. I don't think this is Skydive New England's fault, I don't think this is Brett's fault. I think it's tragic, things happen, and I'm sorry his family has to deal with this."

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