man jumps from gatlinburg space needle

Gatlinburg Tragedy: Police Investigating Suicide At Gatlinburg Space Needle

A third tragedy has taken place in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a very popular tourist town, in less than a week, shocking the community.

According to Johnson City Press, the Gatlinburg police department is currently investigating a suicide that took place at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. The police said they received a call at approximately 5:40 p.m. on Monday saying that someone had fallen from the attraction. When they arrived at the scene, they found a white male in his 50s.

“The investigation revealed that the man had jumped from the observation deck of the Space Needle in an apparent suicide,” a news release revealed.

AL reports the man has been identified as David Ray Pinyan, 58, of Pigeon Forge. The news site said Pinyan, formerly of Blount County, plead guilty in January 2012 to one count of fraud in connection with the sale of securities. At the time, David received a 10-year prison sentence and was placed on five years probation. His sentence was later suspended.

“An investigation showed that between May 2006 and August 2007, Pinyan allegedly used schemes centered on various land development opportunities and transactions involving the buying and selling of automobiles,” the site reported. “The commission said Pinyan used these schemes to defraud Alabama investors of several thousands of dollars.

This is the third tragedy to take place in Gatlinburg in a week. As The Inquisitr previously reported, a helicopter carrying four tourists crashed last week, killing the pilot and all passengers.

“There was not much left of the helicopter,” Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin said as he described the grizzly scene. “There’s just a small piece of the tailwing and that’s about what’s left of the helicopter.”

Over the weekend, police discovered the bodies of a male and female in cabin rental hot tub. An autopsy is currently scheduled to determine how the pair died.

The deceased have been identified by the Gatlinburg police as Jon Levin, 63 of Oak Ridge, and Myra Smith-Findell, 62, of Corbin, Kentucky. The rental cabin where the bodies were discovered is owned by Gatlinburg Falls Resort, according to WBIR. An autopsy will be performed to determine how the pair died.

Gatlinburg locals and tourists are shaken up by the recent tragedies.

“First a helicopter crash that killed 5, 2 people found dead in a hot tub, Ruby Tuesdays burnt to the ground, and now a Space Needle sucide [sic] all within a week span,” one Facebook user wrote. “Don’t know what’s going on their [sic] but wow. Praying for all the families, friends of the victims, and the residents their [sic]. If you travel their [sic] be safe. It’s sounds like something off the X-Files.”

“What the heck is going on in the Smoky Mountains? First the helicopter crash, then 2 people found dead in a hot tub over the weekend in Gatlinburg and now this….they say bad things come in 3’s….I just find all this so bizarre,” another wrote.

So far, the police have not released a motive for the Space Needle suicide.

[Photo via Shutterstock]

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