VENICE — A St. Petersburg family has been identified as the victims in a plane crash Saturday that killed two people, including a 12-year-old girl, and left one still missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
The city of Venice identified the pilot as Christian Kath, 42, and passengers as Misty Kath, 43, and their daughter, Lily. Authorities initially had said the girl was 14.
Lorraine Anderson, a public information officer for the city of Venice, said in an email Tuesday that the family was living in St. Petersburg.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the plane crash that occurred Saturday evening offshore from the Venice Municipal Airport. Authorities said the single-engine Piper Cherokee was reported overdue Saturday when it did not return to its origin airport in St. Petersburg.
Police Chief Charlie Thorpe told reporters on Monday that recreational boaters found the body of a woman floating about 2.5 miles west of the Venice shore. The girl’s body was found in the wreckage of the aircraft. The pilot, Christian Kath, had not been located as of Tuesday morning.
”After consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, the search area for the missing pilot in the gulf has been expanded area-wise, but assets have scaled back,” Anderson said.
Divers will be at the crash area again Tuesday searching about a third of a mile west offshore, Anderson said.
The family had planned to eat dinner in Venice before returning to St. Petersburg, Thorpe said.
Rachel Barrett, a spokesperson for Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, confirmed Lily was a student at the school. Shorecrest is a coed, independent, PK3 to 12th grade school, according to its website.
Thorpe told media Monday that it was not yet clear what caused the plane crash.
The wreckage will be recovered and transferred to Jacksonville for further examination, NTSB spokesperson Jennifer Gabris told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday. Investigators will request radar data, weather information, maintenance records and the pilot’s medical records, she said.
A preliminary report into the investigation is expected to be published 15 days after the crash, she said, but a full analysis could take up to two years to complete.
Any boaters who observe anything in the gulf are asked to contact the Coast Guard using marine radio on channel 16.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.