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The balloon was found about seven to eight miles east of Fitzgerald, the sheriff said. It was draped over the basket containing the body in a heavily wooded area.

A fast-developing thunderstorm sucked in Mr. Ristaino’s balloon while he was ferrying skydivers Friday, then sent the craft plummeting toward the ground. The skydivers parachuted to safety.

Authorities had used helicopters, airplanes, horses and all-terrain vehicles to search the woods in south Georgia for Mr. Ristaino.

Two of the skydivers say Mr. Ristaino kept them safe by spotting a field where they could safely parachute and telling them to jump as the storm approached.

“If we would have left a minute later, we would have been sucked into the storm,” said skydiver Dan Eaton of Augusta, Ga.

He said he didn’t think Mr. Ristaino’s choice to embark on the trip was reckless. They took off into a blue sky from a festival in Fitzgerald, Ga. From the air, they could see only a foglike haze that later turned into a fierce thunderstorm.

The storm “came out of nowhere,” said skydiver Jessica Wesnofske of Cornelia, Ga.


Security up at Jewish sites after France attack

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department stepped up security at synagogues and other sites Monday after a deadly attack on a Jewish school in France.

The NYPD dispatched extra patrols to more than 50 locations throughout New York on the news that an armed man on a motorbike had attacked a school in Toulouse, a southwestern city north of the Pyrenees mountains. The shooting left a rabbi, his two young sons and a schoolgirl dead.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said though there were no specific threats against New York, which has the largest Jewish population outside Israel, the police department decided to take the measures as a precaution.

“We have to be concerned about what happens overseas,” he said. “We have a significant Jewish population in this city, and we have to take that into account.

“We know that we’re the top of the terrorist target list, so we’re concerned about the so-called ‘copycat syndrome,’ where someone might see the events unfolding in Toulouse and take it upon themselves to act out.”

The locations getting additional security included the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan, the Israeli Mission to the United Nations in midtown and the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side.

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