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DIVERS WILL SEARCH FOR MAN'S BODY

Divers will search the Niagara River this morning for the body of a man who apparently jumped into the water off Broderick Park late Friday.

A pair of sneakers that washed into a nearby eddy and a piece of identification found on a park bench by Northwest District police officers, coupled with statements from the man's girlfriend and a witness, prompted the decision to search.

"We strongly suspect he's in there, but I think we might just mark a dive tonight," Police Inspector Daniel E. Redmond said at the scene late Friday. The dive itself was postponed until daylight.

"I think it's much too risky," Redmond said.

The man is a parolee who was wearing an ankle monitoring device, police said. He reportedly took a taxi down to the foot of West Ferry Street.

Officers found a card bearing the man's name and address on the first park bench south of a picnic shelter. That spot will be used as the starting point for this morning's search by members of the Police Department's Underwater Recovery Team.

A pair of sneakers were spotted more than 100 feet away and retrieved from the water.

The Fire Department's Rescue One truck provided a bright light to illuminate the swift-moving water a bit downstream, and a U.S. Coast Guard boat also responded. But all emergency personnel cleared out by midnight.

A motorist who called 911 with a cellular telephone shortly after 9:30 p.m. told police that he was driving by when he saw a man sitting on the railing above the water, Redmond related. When the motorist looked again, the man was gone.

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