Police credit agencies and public in search of missing pilot

NOW: Police credit agencies and public in search of missing pilot

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- The extensive search is now over for 82-year-old Richard Martin, the pilot who took off in his homemade plane Sunday morning and never returned.

“Mr. Martin was deceased, and the plane crashed into a heavily wooded area,” says Steve Grinnewald, Director of Public Safety for the City of Dowagiac.

Police say tips lead them to the general area where Michigan State Police ultimately found Martin’s Sorinex plane crashed from above, roughly two miles north of Dowagiac and just a couple minutes from where he took off at the Dowagiac Municipal Airport four days prior.

“We tried to put forth as much effort as we could into the areas that we had, and unfortunately it wasn’t that far from us,” Grinnewald explains.

Authorities say the discovery is thanks to the help of 10 local agencies as well as the community aiding in search efforts.

“It’s very difficult,” says Grinnewald. “I thought that it would be fairly easy to see a plane, apparently it’s not, and looking at where this plane is, it would be very, very difficult to see.”

Dowagiac Police say the FAA will be coming in on Friday to begin investigating the crash, but they are still asking the public for any additional information that may assist in the investigation. Anyone with tips is urged to call the Dowagiac Police Department at 269-782-9743.

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