Breaking News Emails
Two bodies have been recovered from wreckage matching the description of a crashed plane at the center of a teenage girl's dramatic survival story in Washington, officials said.
Autumn Veatch, 16, walked for around two days through the wilderness after the Beech A-35 she and her step-grandparents were flying in crashed in the northern part of the state. Officials have been searching for her step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman, and the wreckage.
The Skagit County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Wednesday that wreckage matching Veatch's plane had been found around one mile north of State Route 20 in the Rainy Pass area, about 100 miles from Seattle.
Two bodies were recovered from the wreckage but were not being identified until the next of kin had been informed, the statement added.
"The terrain was extremely rugged and vertical," the sheriff's office said. "The wreckage was extensively burned and was in fact still smoldering and flaring up when searchers arrived."
Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service were called to deal with a small bush fire caused by the crash, according to the statement. The Skagit County Sheriff's Office said it had completed its investigation and was turning the incident over to the NTSB.
According to officials, Veatch told them that the plane crashed into steep woodland terrain after encountering thick fog flying from Montana to Washington on Saturday.
Unable to reach her step-grandparents whom she said were trapped inside the burning wreckage, Veatch walked through the wilderness until she found a road and was picked up on Monday.
She left hospital Tuesday having suffered cuts, bruises and burns.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol told reporters: "It's a miracle, no question about it," adding that he had spent 30 years in search and rescue. "Moments of joy like this can be hard to find."