The United States Coast Guard has halted their search for a couple who was involved in an airplane crash near the Florida Keys.
One of the victims is believed to be Flip Wars: Buying Blind star Lana Tufo‘s sister, Alexandra Tufo. Alexandra’s boyfriend Thomas “Tommy” Campana was reportedly the pilot.
“I cry in the morning and at night, and during the day I’m kinda just numb,” the A&E personality told WSVN on Wednesday.
On Facebook, Lana shared a photo of herself hugging her sister alongside the caption, “I don’t want to live on this planet without you ????.”
The search was suspended on Thursday after it lasted around 72 hours and involved six agencies. However, divers from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were able to find two pieces of a plane in the ocean, according to a Coast Guard news release.
The agency said MSCO divers were just about to identify the tail number of the reported missing aircraft “on the ocean floor in the search area.”
MSCO spokesman Adam Linhardt said their dive crew was asked earlier this week to search the area where a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew discovered an oil slick in the water, per The Miami Herald.
Capt. David Dipre of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that MSCO divers had found a portion of the plane about 17 miles south of the Lower Keys.
Initially, the Vans RV-12 single-engine plane left Palm Beach County airport for Key West on Sunday.
“Having located the debris, the search and rescue has now become a recovery effort for all agencies involved,” Dipre said in a Friday statement.
Cmdr. Lindsey Seniuk, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for Coast Guard District Seven, shared his sympathies to the victims’ families in Friday’s news release.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Alexandra Tufo and Thomas Campana,” Seniuk said. “This was a challenging case and it made the decision to suspend that much harder after our partners found the debris field.”
Campana was the owner of the plane that is believed to have crashed, According to FAA records obtained by the Herald. It was also discovered that the FAA’s pilot database reveals Campana received his sport pilot’s certificate in January.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident, Dipre said. The captain noted that Florida Fish and Wildlife “will work to coordinate efforts and provide all assistance needed to the NTSB.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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