Two were found dead, and a third still missing after a plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast on Saturday.
An investigation was launched late Sunday morning into the whereabouts of a reported overdue aircraft, the Venice Police Department confirmed. The privately rented Piper Cherokee departed from St. Petersburg Airport and failed to return Saturday night, according to a police update. No mayday calls were placed prior to the crash, officials said, according to ABC Action News.
Recreational boaters discovered a female body floating in the Gulf around 2.5 miles from Venice Beach Sunday morning. That afternoon, air assets located wreckage of the missing aircraft approximately a third of a mile offshore, just west of the Venice Municipal Airport, police said, according to the outlet. Divers found the deceased teenage girl within the plane’s passenger area, according to police. (RELATED: Homemade Helicopter Crashes In Florida, 2 Dead)
The body of the third person, a 42-year-old man from St. Petersburg, Florida, remains missing, ABC Action News reported. Authorities confirmed the three individuals were family, believed to have flown to Venice, Florida, for dinner.
Efforts to recover the plane’s wreckage are still being determined in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board, officials stated. Elements from the Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Sarasota Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office are involved in continued investigation and recovery, police said, according to ABC Action News.