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Body is found in gulf off Yankeetown coast

YANKEETOWN — Fishermen found a body floating in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday afternoon about 15 miles southwest of Yankeetown. Officials will try to determine whether the body is one of two men whose plane is believed to have crashed in the gulf Nov. 30.

U.S. Coast Guard officials said a commercial fishing vessel came upon the body in the gulf just after noon Monday. The body was taken to the Lake County Medical Examiner's office, which will try to identify it.

Darien Peckham, 34, and Zachary Schlitt, 28, were aboard a single-engine plane that vanished from radar as they were en route from Tallahassee to Vandenberg Airport in Hillsborough County. The plane disappeared about 20 miles southwest of Yankeetown.

Both men are certified pilots, but officials aren't sure who was flying the plane when it apparently crashed into the gulf. The water in the area where the plane disappeared is as deep as 35 feet.

Coast Guard rescuers searched the area for nearly 48 hours before suspending their search.

Body is found in gulf off Yankeetown coast 12/09/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 10:27pm]
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