Mystery of two B.C. men who went missing in 1987 solved after plane crash found

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      After over three decades, the cold case of two men who went missing on a plane flight in the Southern Interior of British Columbia finally has some answers.

      On September 18, 2018, Clearwater RCMP were informed that the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre had been conducting an unrelated search for an aircraft when they happened to discover a different plane crash near McDougall Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

      Clearwater RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Grant Simpson explained in a news release that the crash site was located within “extremely rugged and very treacherous terrain”, was not accessible by roadways or trails, and was further complicated in accessing due to steep inclines and a year-round snow pack.

      An expert tracker climbing an incline to reach the crash site in 2018.
      B.C. RCMP

      After the location was reached, police confirmed that the white Piper Super Club float plane was reported as missing to RCMP after it left the Eagle Bay area near Salmon Arm, B.C., on June 20, 1987. It was heading for McDougall Lake as its destination with two individuals on board.

      Human remains were found at the plane crash site.

      After DNA analysis, B.C. RCMP, with the assistance of the B.C. Coroners Service, confirmed that the two deceased individuals were Len Dykhuizen and Ernie Whitehead of Eagle Bay.

      A portion of the aircraft wreckage near McDougall Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park.
      B.C. RCMP

      "RCMP are pleased that we have now been able to provide their family with answers to some long standing questions," B.C. RCMP Southeast District media relations officer Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey stated in a news release. "This discovery ends over three decades of uncertainty."

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