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By Tim Stelloh

Crews were searching Sunday for a private plane with a family of three on board that went missing Saturday while flying from Montana to Washington, authorities said.

The three people were identified as the pilot, Leland Bowman, 62, his wife, Sharon Bowman, 63, both of Marion, Montana, and their step-granddaughter, Autumn Veatch,16, of Bellingham, Washington, the Washington state Transportation Department said.

The plane, a red and white Beech 35 aircraft, left Calisto, Montana, at 4 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) Saturday and was supposed to arrive in the city of Lynden, in Washington's northwestern corner, a few hours later, the department said. The flight never arrived, and nervous relatives contacted the authorities.

The last cellphone signal to be detected on the plane came about 11:30 p.m. Saturday near the city of Omak, a little more than 200 miles east of Lynden. There was no severe weather in the area, the Transportation Department told NBC News, although it is mountainous and challenging to navigate. No sightings of the plane or debris have been reported.

The search, which was being led by the Transportation Department’s emergency services division, centered on an area along the plane's flight path south of Mount Baker.

The plane's owner and pilot, Leland Bowman, 62, with his wife, Sharon, 63, of Mar, Montana.Washington state Department of Transportation