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Searchers find remaining bodies from skydiving plane crash

  • Story Highlights
  • Searchers find three more bodies; no one survived crash
  • Sheriff: Evidence suggests plane hit ground at about 70 mph
  • Relatives say skydivers were part of a tightknit community
  • Single-engine aircraft carrying 10 people fell off radar Sunday night
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YAKIMA, Washington (CNN) -- Searchers found the remains of the last three of 10 people killed in a plane crash in Washington state, officials said Tuesday.

Relatives of Casey Craig show photos of skydivers Tuesday. Craig died in the crash.

Searchers found the plane Monday night, along with the bodies of seven of the victims.

The plane had been carrying nine skydivers and a pilot.

Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin described the crash scene as horrific.

"You have to remember that it was an airplane falling out of the sky," Irwin said after visiting the scene.

The sheriff said evidence suggests the plane hit the ground at about 70 mph.

Irwin said the crash site was fairly small -- about 100 feet by 60 feet. "From that you can ascertain that it probably went in just about straight down; it wasn't at much of an angle," he said.

Officials did not name any victims, but relatives of some of the skydivers appeared at Tuesday's news conference and stressed what a tightknit group they were.

"The people in the plane weren't just my friends; they were all my family," said Kelly Craig, whose brother, Casey, died in the crash.

Addressing search and rescue teams, he added, "We love you guys. Thanks for coming out and helping." Video Watch the Craig family talk about the loss of Casey »

Ivy Craig Green described her brother: "He was crazy, he was fun, he loved animals, he loved to build things, he loved his friends, and he loved to skydive."

The Craigs said the deaths of Casey and his friends had nothing to do with skydiving.

Jaaima Ritchey displayed a photograph of her sister, Hollie Raspberry, who she said was aboard the plane. "She was wonderful, and she was doing what she loved, and we're going to miss her more than anything," Ritchey said.

The wreckage was in an area with steep terrain among heavy timber and brush, just 200 yards from where the last radar signal from the plane was detected, Yakima County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Cypher said Monday night.

The plane, a single-engine Cessna 208 Caravan, fell off radar at 8 p.m. (11 p.m. ET) Sunday, about a half-hour after taking off from Boise, Idaho, bound for Shelton, Washington, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. See where the plane was found »

The wreckage was found in the immediate area of the search focus, Cypher said.

"The teams did smell fuel and followed the odor and came across the wreckage," he said.

Weather conditions were good for the flight, officials said. The National Transportation Safety Board planned to begin an investigation Tuesday, the sheriff said.

A camper reported seeing a low-flying plane Sunday evening and then hearing a crash, Nisha Marvel of the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

The air search, which began early Monday, included two volunteer planes and two helicopters, Marvel said. About 50 people took part. The search area was southwest of Rimrock Lake, which is south of Mount Rainier, Yakima County Search and Rescue said.

The plane was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter, according to Geoff Farrington of Kapowsin Air Sports, which owns the plane.

The nine skydivers aboard the plane regularly participated in jumps with Skydive Snohomish in Snohomish, Washington, said Elaine Harvey, a spokeswoman for the company.


She said the group had flown into Boise for a skydiving event about 15 miles away in Star, Idaho.

"We are a very close-knit community," she said. "This is devastating." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Kathleen Koch contributed to this report.

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