Lake City skydiver missing east of Seattle

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Kurt Ruppert Jr.

SEATTLE - Dozens of searchers are looking for a skydiver from Lake City who's been missing since Thursday afternoon when he jumped from a helicopter near Mount Si, in the Cascade foothills, about 30 miles east of Seattle.

King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West says Kurt Ruppert, Jr. could have landed in a wide area because he was wearing a wing suit with fabric under the arms to fly through the air.

Ruppert and two other skydivers were taking turns jumping from a chartered helicopter. The other skydivers were waiting in the landing zone, but didn't see the jump. The pilot said the man jumped from an altitude of 6,500 feet.

West says the 29-year-old is from Lake City, Fla. The owner of Skydive Palatka in Palatka, Fla., Art Shaffer, says he's a friend of Ruppert.

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