4 dead following plane crash in rugged Arizona mountains

PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) — Searchers in Arizona found the bodies of four members of a family Tuesday in the wreckage of a small plane that crashed on a flight from Scottsdale to Telluride, Colorado, officials said.

Debris from the single-engine Cessna 210 was spotted north of Payson on the rugged Mogollon Rim, Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd said. The plane had been reported missing Monday night.

The plane carried two adults and two teenage girls, according to a Scottsdale police report. Their names and city of residence weren’t released, but officials at Cicero Preparatory Academy in Scottsdale said in a statement that the two girls were students there.

The sheriff’s office was notified about the missing plane by Scottsdale police.

The police report says a man told police his 31-year-old daughter, 44-year-old son-in-law and two girls, 12 and 14, didn’t check in after planning to fly to Telluride.

Police redacted some details on the report, but it appears the girls were from the man’s first marriage.

Police started a search for the family’s cellphone signal, and one was detected near Payson. A state police helicopter, the Civil Air Patrol and sheriff’s searchers on the ground worked together to find the plane.

Rescuers had to hike nearly an hour to the site, Shepherd said.

“The terrain up there is just really super rugged,” he said. “It’s pretty rough, steep, straight up and down.”

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