Bodies of man, woman recovered at remote plane-crash site - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Bodies of man, woman recovered at remote plane-crash site

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JULIAN (CBS 8 / CNS) - Deputies hiked over miles of rugged, steep terrain Thursday to recover the bodies of a man and woman who died when a light plane crashed northeast of Julian during a flight from Palm Springs to El Cajon.

A sheriff's search and rescue team, along with deputies from Julian and a U.S. Border Patrol team, made the discovery around 12:45 a.m. on the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, roughly four miles northeast of Julian, according to San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Dave Schaller.

The single engine Mooney fixed-wing aircraft was reported missing by Gillespie Field officials around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. They told deputies that contact with the plane was lost somewhere over the Julian area, Schaller said.

The plane is registered to 55-year-old Andrew Thulin, of San Diego. San Diego Police officers were spotted knocking on the door of Thulin's San Carlos condo on Wednesday night, but nobody was home.

The sheriff's department had originally wanted to use helicopters in the search but changed plans because of the sleet, snow and high winds, according to sheriff's Sgt. Don Parker. A ground search was conducted instead, with rescuers utilizing a "ping" from the pilot's cell phone number that allowed them to locate the wreckage, Parker said.

An investigation by the NTSB and FAA was on hold due to the government shutdown.

"We are going to take photographs and we are going to detail the circumstances of the scene," sheriff's department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

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