After missing for a week, officials find missing plane and passengers dead inside

Officials confirm a family of three died in crash

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Sevier County Sheriff's Office confirmed a plane that has been missing for a week has been found in central Utah.

On Nov. 25, Matthew Ahrens, 37, Trista Meyer, 34, and Shyann Lenz, 9, took off in their 1982 Piper Archer aircraft from Minter Field in Shafter. The three were heading from Kern County back to Gillette,Wyo.

The plane stopped in Fillmore, Utah, to refuel.

Officials said the plane did not have an emergency locator transmitter aboard, and there was no flight plan filed for the flight.

The aircraft had not been on radar at the time so the last known point of contact was the airport in Fillmore at 12 p.m. on Nov. 25.

Family members notified authorities on Nov. 26 when the three never made it back.


For almost a week, authorities from several agencies in Utah searched for the plane.

A Utah Highway Patrol helicopter found the wreckage around 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

The helicopter pilot landed and was able to confirm there were three people dead inside and it was the plane that went missing last week.

Officials said the bodies of the three victims will be taken to the Utah Medical Examiners Office for official cause of death.

The plane also had two dogs on board.

The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash.

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