Coast Guard halts search for 3 aboard plane that crashed

AP News
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Posted: Jul 06, 2016 11:12 AM

BROOKINGS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its more than 12-hour search for three people aboard a small plane that crashed in southern Oregon.

The agency said late Tuesday that Cessna 172F pilot John Belnap, his 17-year-old son Max, and a 17-year-old friend, Ryan Merker, remain missing.

Authorities believe the plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean because a backpack belonging to someone aboard was found on the beach near the Brookings airport. Other items believed to be from the plane also have washed ashore.

The plane was flying from Brookings to Grants Pass late Monday. Curry County Sheriff John Ward says the pilot's wife reported the plane missing after her husband didn't arrive home in Grants Pass.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports the teens attended Grants Pass High School, and a vigil was held there Tuesday night.