Originally created 01/03/06

Officials say find might be crashed plane



ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A shrimp boat on Monday apparently snagged the wreckage of a small plane that crashed last month in the Atlantic Ocean, killing three of the four people on board, officials said.

St. Johns County sheriff's Sgt. Chuck Mulligan says the agency believes the plane that the boat's crew snagged is the Cessna 195 that crashed Dec. 18, killing three Rome, Ga., residents: pilot Gary Tillman, 43; his 16-year-old daughter, Hanna; and Anna Kipp, also 16. Passenger Rachel Hostetler, 16, escaped the plane and was rescued.

A body recovered Monday is believed to be that of Hanna, Sgt. Mulligan said.

Her father's body has not been found. Anna died at a hospital after the crash. Divers were preparing to examine the plane to see whether Mr. Tillman's body can be found.

In the days after the crash, rain, gale-force winds and 7- to 10-foot seas hampered the search for the plane a mile off Vilano Beach near St. Augustine.