Human Remains Questioned at Fossett Wreckage

October 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Federal investigators flew to the crash site near Mammoth Lakes in Madera County where they found partial remains and began studying the plane wreckage.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           |   Get the Back Story: Steve Fossett   |
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About 50 searchers and five canine teams, including cadaver dogs, spent the day in mountains searching for Fossett's body. But it was federal investigators who found a small amount of human remains this Thursday afternoon.

But Madera County Sheriff John Anderson said only a single bone was found in the Minarets Summit area, and there's no proof yet that it came from a human. "Often time in searches we find bones all over in the mountains, and probably 90% of time they end up being animal bones," said Madera County Sheriff John Anderson.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board flew to the remote site where Steve Fosset's plane crashed nearly 13 months ago. They began examining the debris field to piece together what happened when the aircraft went down.

Mark Rosenker NTSB Chairman said, "We believe it came in a horizontal position rather than a vertical position."

Volunteers and canine teams are still searching for Fossett's body, but the NTSB now says some small traces of human remains were found.

Mark Rosenker said, "I believe the coroner will be able to do some work."

The wreckage in the Inyo National Forest was first spotted by a Yosemite flight crew Wednesday evening, and confirmed by a 12 person ground team later that night.

Jutta Schmidt from Mono Co. Search & Rescue said, "I was very glad we were able to locate it so we can bring some closure to this whole event."

Fosset went missing in September of 2007 after he took off in a single engine plane from Nevada. He was supposed to be heading toward bishop, California ... about 40 miles from where the wreckage was found.

"It obviously hit the ground very hard and broke into many pieces."

The crash site is only about a quarter of a mile from where a hiker first spotted three of Fossett's ID's and about a thousand dollars in damaged cash on Monday.

Preston Morrow said, "So relieved, so happy that they found something, so so happy. Now they can put an end to it I guess."

The NTSB plans to use a helicopter to start removing pieces of the plane. But the agency says it could take at least six months to determine what caused the crash.

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