MOOREFIELD, W.Va.,None - Officials said the three people who were on board a plane that crashed in eastern West Virginia are dead.
Hardy County emergency management director Paul Lewis said search teams reached the crash site Thursday night and confirmed the fatalities.
A state medical examiner at the scene said officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected before noon Friday.
The Piper PA-32 Saratoga went missing Sunday night as it was heading to Johnstown, Pa.
Three Westmoreland County residents were on board when the plane dropped out of radio and radar contact on Sunday night, 12 miles south of the Grant County Airport in Petersburg.
The plane was being piloted by local businessman Michael Garrone, of Allegheny Township. Uncle Charley’s Sausage president Chas Armitage Jr., 52, of Parks Township, and his girlfriend, Laura Stettmier, 49, were passengers on the plane.
Channel 11 News talked with Jeff Schrock of the Civil Air Patrol, who explained why it took so long to locate the plane.
"We're in the middle of fall season, so the leaves haven't fallen off the trees yet, so the trees were pretty thick from trying to spot anything from the air to the ground,” said Schrock.