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Police recover, identify body of man who jumped off Luling bridge

By Jonathan Menard -   Jul 18, 2013

Jack Culotta
Jack Culotta

Police have identified the body pulled out of the Mississippi River on Thursday in Ama as Jack Culotta, who authorities believe jumped off of the Hale Boggs Bridge on Tuesday.

Culotta, 55, was the managing partner of The Culotta Law Firm and a lifetime resident of New Orleans. According to his obituary, Culotta had six children. He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1976 and went on to graduate from LSU and Loyola Law School. He was a past president of Metairie Country Club and a member of the ForeKids! Foundation.

He also served as a basketball coach for his children and successfully completed the Mardi Gras Marathon in 2003 and the Iron Man in 2009.

“He worked tirelessly for others while giving his time and energy to many organizations,” his obituary said.

Culotta’s body was pulled out of the River near the ADM Growmark grain elevator at around 2 p.m. on Thursday. On Tuesday at 11 a.m., a witness saw a man abruptly pull over his white Ford Explorer at the top of the bridge and quickly exit the vehicle.

Without any hesitation, the man ran towards the bridge and dove over the rail into the water below, according to the witness.

This is the third time someone has jumped off the Hale Boggs Bridge in the last 12 months.

Last September, a disabled man parked at the top of the bridge and used a wheelchair to get to the bridge’s railing. After he hoisted himself onto the railing, an officer tried to talk him down for several minutes, but the man eventually jumped into the water.

Last October, 20-year-old Gretna resident Jake Bodden jumped off of the Hale Boggs.

His body was later recovered by family members four days later.

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