UPDATE: Search Continues For Missing Plane In Lake Erie

  • 12/30/2016 1:41:22 PM
  • Jay Jackman
  • Local News

CLEVELAND, OH - Police announced Saturday they would begin a new search and recovery operation this week for the remains of the passengers from a plane believed to have crashed in Lake Erie Thursday night.

During a press conference on Saturday morning, officials said investigators will build a grid and identify the plane's last communication. A team of divers and marine experts will extract the remains.

A bag washed up on shore and was found Sunday at The Shoreby Club Newport Harbor in Bratenahl near Cleveland. More than 120 pieces of debris have been recovered from the lake so far, and are connected with the 525 Cessna model. 

Officials have confirmed that the bag was linked to the crash and contained identification cards and other items that belonged to the missing pilot, John T. Fleming.

Fleming is President and CEO of Superior Beverage Group. The plane was registered to the beverage company executive and is based at Ohio State University Airport.

Fleming, an experienced pilot, was taking his family and neighbors to the Cavaliers game as a treat for the holidays, according to his father. John W. Fleming, the executive's father, told the Columbus Dispatch that his son was at the controls of the Cessna that went missing. 

Also on board the plane was Fleming's wife, Suzanne Fleming, 46, their two sons, John Robert, 15, and Andrew Thomas, 14, a neighbor and a neighbor's daughter.

The neighbors that were also on board were identified Monday by the Columbus Dispatch. They reported that the passengers are Brian Casey, and his 19-year-old daughter, Megan from Powell.

The last radar contact with the plane came as it flew about two miles north of the Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, where it took off. 

The Cessna Citation 525 was headed for The Ohio State University airport in Columbus when it disappeared from radar. 

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