A woman who might have jumped to her death from the Hoover Dam bypass bridge on Friday “was sly about it and didn’t want people to know.”
So says a Boulder City woman who was taking pictures of the sunset and noticed the woman standing on the bridge just before she mysteriously disappeared.
“If only I had known she was going to do this, I would have definitely tried to have helped her,” said a tearful 46-year-old Francesca Bosco, who captured an image of the woman in what could prove to be the final moments of her life — between 4:50 and 5 p.m.
“But how could I have known?” added Bosco in a telephone interview with the Review-Journal late Saturday night. “How could anybody have known?”
When Bosco turned to start taking pictures of the canyon from the other end of the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge, that’s when the woman probably jumped, she said.
A woman’s body was recovered from the river early Saturday morning and an autopsy is pending at the Clark County coroner’s office.
Police officers arrived on scene at 6:15 p.m. and started searching for the woman. But they released little information Saturday.
A woman was first reported missing by the Tempe Police Department in Arizona earlier in the week, according to Las Vegas police who did not provide a name.
Bosco said the woman, at least the one she took a picture of, looked to be in her late 30s or early 40s and had long wavy blond hair. She was dressed in all black. She arrived at the bypass in a cab with the number 4964, possibly from Arizona.
The presence of the cab made Bosco angry because it kept backing up, inching along the bridge, blocking the sunset as Bosco tried to snap a picture. But she’s no longer angry, she said, just sad.
“But at the time, I kept wondering, ‘What’s he doing? Why’s he backing up? Why is he even on the bridge? Cars aren’t supposed to be stopped up there. It’s illegal. The signs say so.’ ”
It turns out the cabdriver, who spoke little English, was looking for the woman. She left a purse and a jacket inside his cab, Bosco said.
Bosco, who was just a few feet away from the woman, said she turned some of the photographs over to police to help in the investigation.
In the picture, which Bosco has since posted to her Facebook page, the woman’s arms are folded. She is standing just a few feet from the railing.
Below lies 900 feet of air and the Colorado River.
A cab can be seen in the background with its brake lights on, and there’s a sign in the distance that says, “Welcome to Nevada.” A few people can be seen farther down on the bridge, but their images are blurred.
Bosco said she now feels sad that she didn’t save the woman’s life. She’s thankful that her 14-year-old son never witnessed anything and had gone to use the restroom around the time she jumped.
“It seemed like she was waiting for everybody to turn their heads and not see her. She had it all planned out,” Bosco said. “What a day to be at the bridge, huh? Such a terrible tragedy.”
Hoover Dam police refused to comment Saturday.
The bypass bridge spans Black Canyon 1,500 feet downstream of the dam.
Contact reporter Tom Ragan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5512.