Plane found after vanishing 21 years ago

ST. IGNACE - UPDATE (6 p.m.) - A plane that disappeared with a mid-Michigan couple 21 years ago has just been found near St. Ignace.

Officials with the National Forest Service say it was heading to Howell when it disappeared two decades ago.

Mark and Janet Davies were on board the piper plane on September 14th, 1997, when it was reported missing. They had left Drummond Island, heading home to Howell, but never made it back.

Janet Davies was an art teacher at Scranton Middle School in Brighton. The former principal says this discovery answers many questions -- questions he's had for a long time.

Ken Hamman was the principal at Scranton Middle School in Brighton for twenty-two years. He says when Mark and Janet Davies were reported missing in 1997, the community was in shock.

“Everyone just had a tremendous number of questions about what happened because there was no evidence ever found about the plane until just the last couple days,” said Hamman.

Hamman says he still remembers Janet Davies very well; they worked together day in and day out.

“My first year of teaching I taught across the hall from her so we became good friends right away,” said Hamman.

6 News Anchor Justin Kree remembers Davies too, from when he was an eighth grade student at Scranton.

“Seeing her just the week before at school and then she's gone, you know, just like that,” said Kree.

Justin says even after all this time, he remembers Davies teaching him how to draw in class.

“She always had a smile on her face, she was very happy, very outgoing,” said Kree.

Former Principal Hamman says now that the plane has been found, the community and family can finally have closure.

“There's some sense of relief that there's some resolution in one form or another on the horizon,” said Hamman.

Since the plane was found in a very remote and wooded area, investigators are having difficulty inspecting the wreckage.

We'll of course keep you updated as we learn more.



ORIGINAL STORY - A staffer with the National Forest Service found a plane that disappeared 21 years ago.

The plane belonged to a couple from Howell.

It was last seen on September 14, 1997 leaving Drummond Island, which is up north. The plane was bound for Howell, where the couple on board lived. 

Toronto Air Route Traffic Control says the plane left the island shortly before 4 p.m., flew 20 to 25 miles south, and turned 180 degrees before disappearing from the radar.

A four day search at the time failed to find the plane. 

The two on board the Piper PA-28-235 were Mark and Janet Davies. Janet worked for the Brighton schools. They have not been seen since the crash.

The plane is in a very remote and wooded area, which is making it difficult for investigators to inspect the site.

6 News is working this story today and we will update it as details become available.



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