The bodies of a family of four were found by searchers in Arizona on Tuesday inside the wreckage of a small plane. The plane crashed while traveling from Scottsdale, Arizona to Telluride, Colorado.
Officials spotted debris from the single-engine Cessna 210 just north of Payson on Mongolian Rim, reports USA Today. Authorities state that the cause of the crash is still unknown. The plane was reported missing on Monday.
Authorities in Arizona have confirmed that the plane’s tail number matched the Federal Aviation Administration records, which identify the owner of the plane Scottsdale, Arizona resident Eric Falbe.
Falbe, 44, was a lawyer who specialized in real estate mediation. Falbe’s law partner Michael Maledon, confirmed to authorities that Falbe his wife, Carrie, and two daughters from a previous marriage were aboard the plane.
His daughters, Victoria, 14, and Skylar 12, attended Scottsdale, Arizona’s Cicero Preparatory Academy. Officials at the girl’s school released a statement on the tragedy saying their sincere condolences go out to the Falbe family during this tragic loss. They went on to say that grief counselors would be available on Monday when school returns.
For those that worked with Eric, he will be remembered as a truly exceptional businessman and lawyer. Beyond Eric’s professional accomplishments, he and Carrie will be remembered for their passion for life and warmth toward others, Maledon stated in an email, according to AZ Central.
The police report shows that a man notified Arizona authorities that his 31-year-old daughter, son-in-law and two children did not check in after they planned a flight to Telluride. The family was taking a yearly trip they go on during the Christmas holiday.
Arizona authorities began the search by looking for the family’s cell phone signal. Which they located near Payson. Officials dispatched a state police helicopter. The Civil Air Patrol and the sheriff’s office searched together on the ground, reports FOX News.
The helicopter search began around 2 a.m. and the plane debris was discovered around 4:50 a.m. in an area covered in dense trees. Three members of the family were immediately found dead once rescuers reached the site. The fourth body was found dead later in the day.
It took rescuers nearly an hour to hike to the crash site. The terrain in the region was extremely rugged. Rescuers said it was pretty much up and down. Officials in Arizona said the cause of the crash remains unknown, but the investigation into the crash continues.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy Facebook