Human remains found on plane wreckage from 1987 identified | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Human remains found on plane wreckage from 1987 identified

Len Dykhuizen was one of the two men on board the float plane that crashed in 1987.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ B.C. RCMP Southeast District
September 30, 2019 - 9:57 AM

KAMLOOPS - RCMP and B.C. Coroners Service have confirmed the identities of human remains found in a historic aircraft wreckage.

According to a media release, on June 20, 1987, a float plane took off from the Eagle Bay area in Salmon Arm, and crashed into a remote area in Wells Gray Park near McDougall Lake. RCMP had received calls at that time but no discovery was made. The area in which the plane crashed is rugged terrain, with no road in or out. In September of 2018, during an unrelated aircraft search, the wreckage was discovered and human remains were found on board. DNA analysis was used to confirm the identities of the dead. 

This photo shows a tracker climbing a steep hill to access the area in which the plane crashed. The difficult terrain and deep snowpacks made it difficult to access the area, which could be why it took so long to locate.
This photo shows a tracker climbing a steep hill to access the area in which the plane crashed. The difficult terrain and deep snowpacks made it difficult to access the area, which could be why it took so long to locate.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ B.C. RCMP Southeast District

“B.C. RCMP can now confirm that those remains belonged to Ernie Whitehead and Len Dykhuizen, both from the Eagle Bay area at the time of their disappearance,” says Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, media relations officer for the B.C. RCMP Southeast District. “RCMP are pleased that we have now been able to provide their family with answers to some long-standing questions. This discovery ends over three decades of uncertainty.”

In a media release, the B.C. RCMP acknowledge the B.C. RCMP Southeast District Missing Person Coordinator, the Clearwater and Salmon Arm RCMP, and other partners such as B.C. Conservation Service, Emergency Management B.C. and B.C. Parks for their assistance in the historic case.

Ernie Whitehead was one of the men identified as a victim in the float plane crash of 1987.
Ernie Whitehead was one of the men identified as a victim in the float plane crash of 1987.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ B.C. RCMP Southeast District

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