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Severed leg in Delaware River came from I-95 bridge jumper, police say

A boat propeller likely severed the leg in the weeks after the man jumped, police said. His family reported him missing in late December.

A severed leg found in the Delaware River in late February came from a young man who jumped off the double-decker bridge carrying I-95 across the Schuylkill in South Philadelphia, authorities say.

The man's Pennsylvania family reported him missing in late December, when police suspect he jumped. The Coast Guard found the upper half of his body on Feb. 16 in the water near the Girard Point Bridge.

Both of the man's legs were missing. State Trooper Chris Holdeman said that boat propellers likely severed them at some point, and that large vessels with heavy-duty motors often run into things without noticing.

The cold water also likely prevented the body from surfacing sooner, Holdeman said. State and Philadelphia police had searched for the body for nearly two months.

It wasn't until Feb. 26, however — about a week and a half after the man's upper body was found — that one of his legs washed up on the opposite side of the Delaware River in National Park, Gloucester County. A dog walker spotted the body part and called police.

New Jersey authorities are performing DNA tests, but Holdeman said the leg belongs to the man who jumped. The other leg has not been found.

Authorities did not release the man's identity or exact age, and the Inquirer and Daily News do not typically publish the names of suicide victims.

Holdeman said the body parts do not appear linked to human remains that a man and his son found in Camden last week along the Delaware River. The Camden County Prosecutor's Office is trying to identify the remains, and said Monday the investigation was ongoing.