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Pilot's body recovered from Everglades crash

Authorities recovered the body of an Ocala pilot Saturday after his small plane crashed in the Everglades.

Jorge Garcia, 31, was the pilot of the single-engine Cessna 210 that went down about 8 p.m. Friday about 20 miles west of Fort Lauderdale, officials said. Garcia's body was recovered by Broward County Sheriff's Office divers early Saturday.

The plane took off from Orlando Executive Airport on its way to the Miami suburb of Opa-locka, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

Sheriff's deputies found the wreckage about a half mile south of Alligator Alley in the Everglades, spokesman Hugh Graf said.

Graf said the Sheriff's Office first received a call from someone on a cell phone who said he saw lights coming down from the sky. Ten minutes later, an air control tower told the Sheriff's Office they had lost contact with the Cessna.

The plane was registered to Flight Express Inc. of Orlando, an air courier company serving 21 states in the Southeast and Midwest.

John Kirchhoefer, the company's president, said Garcia was traveling to the Miami area to pick up cargo. Garcia had worked in Orlando since August after transferring from their Cincinnati office.

Kirchhoefer said the cause of the crash was not yet known. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. An NTSB spokesman in Miami did not immediately return a phone message Saturday.

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