An experienced skydiver jumped to his death from a plane after telling his wife in a final message that he was not going to pull the cord on his parachute.
Vitantonio Capotorto, 27, recorded a video telling Costansa Litellini he was “going somewhere wonderful” before killing himself by leaping from a height of 13,500ft.
His wife, 25, rushed to the skydiving centre in DeLand, Florida, and begged staff to stop her husband diving.
An employee radioed the plane’s pilot but Mr Capotorto had already jumped.
Police searched for him from the sky and the ground before his body was found in an open field near to DeLand Municipal Airport, where the centre is based.
Investigators then learned of the “disturbing” final message. In the video, Mr Capotorto told his wife he was going to jump out of a plane on Tuesday but “not going to pull the cord and that he was going somewhere wonderful”.
Skydive DeLand manager Mike Johnton told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Mr Capotorto’s wife arrived “moments too late” to stop the jump.
The couple both worked at United Parachute Technologies, a company that makes containers for parachutes.
Mr Capotorto, an Italian national who lived in DeLand, was an avid sky-driver who had made more than 600 previous jumps. His social media profiles show numerous photos of him in the air, sometimes with a GoPro-style camera strapped to his head.
Tara Richard, an employee at the skydiving centre, told police “he had seemed normal” when she saw him before take-off.
“We express our deepest sympathy for his family and his friends,” Skydive Deland said in a statement.
The centre said Mr Capotorto was a licenced sky-diver with the appropriate training to jump alone and had paid for the flight.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123, visit a local Samaritans branch or visit their website.