Dee Jessop’s plan was to light an arrow on fire and shoot it at the ground, igniting 51 candles arranged in the shape of a heart with a roughly 30-foot diameter in Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The elaborate display was part of a romantic gesture that Jessop, 51, wanted to perform Saturday for his wife’s birthday, FOX 13 reported. But the outcome was deadly.
To make it happen, Jessop’s brother Willie told the Salt Lake Tribune, the man climbed a ridge in Circleville Canyon. That’s where he had planned to shoot the arrow.
But Dee Jessop slipped while he was climbing and fell between 50 and 60 feet from the cliff, authorities said, KUTV reported.
“They were lighting these fire arrows and kind of making it a surprise,” Willie Jessop told the Tribune on Tuesday. “But because it was late at night, it appears he lost his footing and slipped.”
CPR was immediately administered to Dee Jessop, KUTV said. Emergency responders continued to perform CPR while taking him to the hospital. Jessop died from his injuries there, the news station reported.
The ridge that Jessop climbed, along with the heart display, were on property that his family had recently purchased, according to the Tribune. Willie Jessop, who didn't witness the accident, said on Facebook that the family was developing it.
Denise Dastrup, a public information officer for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, told FOX 13 that Jessop and his wife were with friends and family when it happened.
The Tribune reported that Dee Jessop was a member of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Willie Jessop told the newspaper his brother had a “large family.”
Private investigator Sam Brower wrote in "Prophets Prey" — a 2011 book that was later adapted for a documentary — that Dee Jessop would tie down animals and kill them in front of children, according to the newspaper. A book by a former FLDS member reported the same thing, the Tribune said, and both authors implied Jessop wanted to demonstrate how to do it for the kids.
Willie Jessop told the newspaper his brother was "dearly loved" and is "missed by his family."