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Affidavit: Fugitive pilot seemed ready to stay on run

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Pilot had road maps, campsite lists for Alabama, Florida, according to affidavit
  • Lawyer for pilot's wife says family is victim of husband's "deceitfulness"
  • Marcus Schrenker faces charges related to crash of plane
  • Police: Schrenker bailed out of plane before crash, fled on stashed motorcycle
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(CNN) -- The fugitive pilot accused of faking his own death had enough provisions to stay on the run for awhile, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Schrenker reportedly checked in to a hotel in Harpersville, Alabama, south of Birmingham, after the crash.

Marcus Schrenker was taken to a hospital after being found Tuesday near Quincy, Florida, authorities say.

Authorities found financial manager Marcus Schrenker, who they say parachuted out of a plane while over Alabama, with deep cuts on his wrist at a campsite near Quincy, Florida Tuesday.

But the biggest clues helping authorities piece together his complex plan were what they didn't find at the site of the crashed plane.

Authorities believe Schrenker guided himself from his jump-off point to the campsite armed with pages from a 50-state road book. Authorities found the road book, with the Florida and Alabama pages missing, near the downed plane, according to a court affidavit.

The financial manager may have mapped out opportunities to hide at campsites. Authorities also found a book of campsites -- also with the Alabama and Florida pages ripped out -- near the plane, according to the affidavit.

When authorities found Schrenker Tuesday, he had deep cuts on his wrists. He was incoherent and bleeding so profusely he probably would not have survived another hour, a federal agent said Wednesday.

Schrenker was "verbally resistant" to authorities' offer of medical help and was muttering a phrase with the word "die," said Frank Chiumento, assistant chief of the U.S. Marshals Service office in Florida, who participated in the raid.

But Schrenker also had tools to survive. He had plenty of food, water and clothes, authorities said.

Federal charges were filed against Schrenker on Wednesday in the incident, with prosecutors alleging he intentionally communicated a false distress message and caused the Coast Guard "to attempt to save lives and property when no help was needed." Schrenker is also charged with willfully damaging, destroying or wrecking an aircraft.

Pilot's friend on 'King'
A friend of Marcus Schrenker's talks to Larry King about what may have driven the pilot to an apparent suicide attempt.
Tonight, 9 ET

Schrenker was charged Tuesday in Indiana with one felony count each of an unlawful act by a compensated adviser and unlawful transaction by an investment adviser. He was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and remained there Wednesday, officials said.

Indiana officials have agreed to allow the federal case against Schrenker to proceed before seeking to have him extradited to Indiana, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in the Northern District of Florida. A federal arrest warrant was issued, and Schrenker will appear before a magistrate judge in Pensacola, Florida, after he is released and arrested, the statement said.

Chiumento said marshals are waiting for Schrenker to be healthy enough to be released from the hospital before charging him as a fugitive from justice.

Authorities say Schrenker took off alone Sunday night from Anderson, Indiana, in a Piper PA-46 en route to Destin, Florida. Over Alabama, he contacted air-traffic controllers, saying the windshield had imploded and that he was bleeding profusely.

Court documents indicate Schrenker had planned to say exactly that.

On the back of a book found near the crash, there was a list of what appeared to be summary points, "which included 'cracked windshield, window imploded, bleeding profusely' or words to that effect," according to the affidavit.

Police suspect he then put the aircraft on autopilot and parachuted to the ground.

The plane later crashed near the Blackwater River in East Milton, Florida, missing a group of homes by 50 to 75 yards, said Sgt. Scott Haines of the Santa Rosa County, Florida, sheriff's department.

Quincy is about 215 miles southeast of Childersburg, Alabama, where Schrenker was first spotted after authorities believe he bailed out of the aircraft. Video Watch what authorities believe happened »

Marshals say Schrenker showed up at 2:30 a.m. Monday at a home in Childersburg, about 35 miles south of Birmingham, telling a resident he had been in a canoeing accident. After getting a ride into town, he was taken by police, who were unaware of the crash, to a hotel in nearby Harpersville.

When police, who identified Schrenker using his FAA pilot's license, heard about the crash and returned, they found that he had checked in under a false name and had since disappeared, possibly into a nearby wooded area, authorities said.

Officials believe he fled Harpersville on a 2008 red Yamaha street bike he had stashed at a storage unit earlier, also using an assumed name. Investigators found the storage unit empty, with some wet clothes left behind.

Officials found the motorcycle at the campground Tuesday night.

Chiumento declined to reveal how authorities tracked down Schrenker other than to say the lead came from the Birmingham marshal's office.

Authorities think Schrenker defrauded investors through three companies he owns before attempting his vanishing act. Video Watch what a friend and an attorney say about Schrenker »

A lawyer for Schrenker's wife attempted to distance his family from the incident, saying she and the couple's three young children "are victims of this man's deceitfulness."

"She is not guilty of anything other than trusting her husband of 13 years," said attorney Mary Schmid, who is representing Michelle Schrenker in divorce proceedings.

Michelle Schrenker contacted her last summer to discuss a divorce because he was having an affair, Schmid said in a statement.

"At the time, she wanted to work on reconciling with her husband," Schmid said. But the affair continued, and Michelle Schrenker filed for divorce December 30, the attorney said.

The divorce filing was based on Marcus Schrenker's infidelity and not the accusations of investment fraud, the statement said.


"In fact, Michelle first learned of the allegations against him when, on December 31, 2008, the police and investigators came to her door to search her home. To Michelle's dismay, at the time her home was being searched, Marcus was in Florida with his girlfriend."

"Everyone should remember that Michelle and her children are suffering through a terrible time right now," the statement said. "Through no fault of their own, they are having to deal with the repercussions of this man's behavior and will be doing so for a long time to come."

CNN's Brooke Baldwin, Kevin Bohn, Kathleen Johnston and Tristan Smith contributed to this report.

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