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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Friends quizzed over skydiver murder
Adrian Blair, left, and David Mason
The two men appealed for help on the BBC's Crimewatch programme
Detectives have been given a further 24 hours to question two teenagers over the death of skydiver Stephen Hilder.

Humberside Police were granted a second extension on Thursday evening to interview two 19-year-olds - believed to be friends of Mr Hilder, who died when he fell 13,000 feet after his parachute was allegedly sabotaged.

The 20-year-old was accompanied on the three-man jump by fellow military college students Adrian Blair, of Dobwalls in Cornwall, and David Mason, who later helped carry his coffin at his funeral.

Mr Hilder, an Army cadet from Hereford, died when both his main and reserve chutes failed above Hibaldstow Airfield in north Lincolnshire on 4 July.

Humberside police refused to confirm reports that the pair had been arrested, but said that two 19-year-olds were in custody.

The men were arrested after voluntarily attending Scunthorpe police station on Wednesday afternoon.

Stephen Hilder
Stephen Hilder was an experienced skydiver
Police now have until 1900 BST on Friday to interview the pair before either charging or releasing them.

In July, both Mr Blair and Mr Mason made a televised appeal on BBC's Crimewatch for help to solve the mystery over their friend's death.

They described their last moments with Mr Hilder as they jumped out of the plane together to begin their formation freefall.

Officers have conducted hundreds of interviews with people who knew Mr Hilder, along with fellow students at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire and Bristol University.

A specialist officer with skydiving experience had been brought in to give the team of detectives a clearer insight into the world of skydiving and offer detailed technical knowledge.

Officers recently investigated Mr Hilder's movements in the days leading up to the fatal jump and considered the possibility he had arranged to meet someone in the Scunthorpe area.

The BBC's Judith Moritz
"Humberside Police focused their inquiry on the parachuting community"

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