The year long speculation is over. Investigators declared Steve Fossett legally dead in February because searchers were unable to even find the wreckage of his plane and made the assumption the plane had been destroyed in a crash. Last month the wreckage was finally found but speculation about the actual fate of Fossett got a second wind when no remains were found.
Two bones, however, were found and tested for DNA last week and they have conclusively been identified as belonging to Steve Fossett.
Genetic tests on two bones found near the wreckage of Steve Fossett’s airplane in the California mountains confirm the missing multimillionaire adventurer is dead, local authorities said on Monday.
“A California Department of Justice Forensics lab has determined that items containing DNA — discovered last week — match James Stephen Fossett’s DNA,” the Madera County, California, sheriff-coroner’s office said in a statement.
Office spokeswoman Erica Stuart said the match of the DNA in the bones discovered last Wednesday brings her office’s investigation to an end.
“The coroner’s case is closed,” Stuart said.
Pieces of Fossett’s airplane were found spread out over a large aread of the California mountainside at about 10,000 feet. The first pieces of wreckage and ID belonging to Steve Fossett were found early last month by hikers. As search crews were dispatched more of the plane wreckage was uncovered and a few small remains were located before the bones that were able to be tested were finally found last week.
Fossett’s wife, Peggy, is relieved to have evidence of her husband’s fate. It’s been a long and difficult wait for her, not knowing what had happened to her husband. Peggy Fossett is now waiting to hear the outcome of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the cause of the airplane crash that took her husband’s life.
Steve Fossett, a multimillionaire, took off in his single engine airplane last September from an airstrip in Nevada and seemed to disappear into thin air, sparking a year long mystery as to his fate. Some speculated that Fossett disappeared on purpose.