Great Salt Lake boat patrol added to search for missing plane out of Ogden

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This story was updated at 4:28 p.m. with additional information.

BOX ELDER COUNTY — No new leads had developed in the search for two men and a missing aircraft out of Ogden as of Sunday afternoon, but family is asking for photos from people who were at the Golden Spike Historical Site Friday.

The search for pilot Denny Mansell, 71, and passenger Peter Ellis, 74, continued Sunday morning, with an added boat patrol from the Utah Department of Parks and Recreation checking the Great Salt Lake, according to a news release from the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.

“There have been several tips that have come in and all have been investigated, however no definitive leads have developed. Search efforts will continue until nightfall,” Box Elder Chief Deputy Dale Ward said in the release.

The search area has been covered from the air at least once and, in some areas, multiple times, Ward said.

Search efforts will begin to scale back, starting with the dismissal of the Department of Public Safety helicopter and the Civil Air Patrol. A joint meeting was held with ground and air search units and search track records were compared.

Ground search efforts will be also scaled back, the release said, but the sheriff’s office, Box Elder Search and Rescue, and the Utah Division of Natural Resources will continue to search on the lake.

Mansell and Ellis left the Ogden-Hinckley Airport around 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, in a red and white Cessna 172 to fly to the Promontory area to watch the trains during the Steam Festival at the Golden Spike Historical Site. The two planned to return around 4:30 p.m. the same day.

The family of the missing men asks that anyone who was at the festival on Friday afternoon and has evidence that the plane was there, such as photos, to send them to missingplane4394@gmail.com. The plane was likely in the area between 3-5 p.m.

“If we can establish that they flew the Golden Spike Site, it will help narrow the search area,” Ward said in the release.

The search for the missing men began Friday night with sheriff’s deputies searching at ground-level and a helicopter from the Utah Department of Public Safety searching from the skies, the release said.

Reach digital producer Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or jkokesh@standard.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh or Facebook.com/ByJessKokesh.

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