Thursday, April 26, 2018
Public safety

Body found in gulf identified as occupant of missing Brooksville plane

The body that was found Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico was identified as one of the occupants of an airplane that went missing over the weekend, according to the Levy County Sheriff's Office.

The body was identified as Jasper Jerrels, 65, the Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. He was found about 6 miles south of Cedar Key, which was the plane's destination when it took off Sunday from Brooksville but was then reported missing.

Jerrels, his 17-year-old son, and Jerrels' fiancee, 60-year-old Hue Singletary, were aboard a Piper Cherokee that left Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport on Sunday morning and headed to Cedar Key for lunch, according to the Coast Guard.

They never made it, though, as the plane dropped off radar about 7 miles south of the island at 11:06 a.m.

A two-day search for the plane and its occupants turned up some items believed to be from inside the cockpit on Monday. Then Jerrels' body was found on Tuesday. But no parts of the plane itself have been found.

The search was called off at sunset Tuesday.

Times staff

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