San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Missing Children’s Bodies Found Near Crash Site

CONCLUDING an eight-day searchon land and over water, Red Cross officialsfound the bodies of two childrenwho died in a plane crash off the Pacificcoast July 16. Exhausted and operatingon a dwindling budget, searchers lastweek temporarily stopped the searchafter retrieving the bodies of four of thesix victims (TT, July 22), but were bolsteredby a donation from victims’ relativeswho rented a helicopter for thesearch last weekend.On Sunday, the bodies of U.S. citizensConnor Kells, 9, and Jack Ruetz, 8, werefound in the water near the site of thecrash, between two small islands, the RedCross reported.The single-engine plane, a PilatusPorter PC-6, capable of landing on landor on water, took off from the TamarindoAirport in the northern Pacific provinceof Guanacaste and crashed into the ocean1.5 miles from shore. Authorities have yetto rule on the cause of the accident, butspeculate it was brought about by amechanical failure.An average of 15 trained Red Crossvolunteers searched daily for the missingchildren after divers with privatecompanies and fishermen pulled the firstbodies from the wreckage of the plane,more than 100 feet below water.The other four victims, also U.S. citizens,were the plane’s owner, GregGund, 32; Cindy Ruetz, 42, mother ofJack and Justin, 9, who also died in thecrash; and Paul Kells, 53, Connor’sfather. The Ruetz family lives in PlayaFlamingo, Gund lived in Playa Negra,and the Kells family was visiting fromCalifornia.

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