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Missing plane found in 'lots of pieces' in wooded area of Geauga County

Authorities say a resident in the area reported hearing a loud noise last night.

TROY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Crews have located a missing plane near the LaDue Reservoir. Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand confirmed the update shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"We have recovered the plane. It was found in a wooded area between Shaw Road and the LaDue Reservoir. It's not in the water. It's heavily damaged. ... The coroner is on his way out here."

Hildenbrand said the four-seater plane was found in "lots of pieces." He said the fire department had to cut down some trees to get into the area where the plane was located.

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"One of the neighbors heard a loud noise last night in that area and called us and told us they heard something that was right in the area that we were looking for."

Hildenbrand said the pilot's body was recovered and family has been notified.

Authorities were alerted to the missing plane around 4 a.m. Wednesday by a concerned friend who was tracking his travel on a flight pattern app.

Mike Cardaman, assistant fire chief with the Auburn Township Fire Department, said the friend told authorities the pilot's last location pinged at the LaDue Reservoir.

A drone team and five boats were used to search the reservoir and its surrounding area.

Hildenbrand said the foggy weather conditions hampered their search efforts.

"We couldn't get a helicopter at that time, so we were relying on the drones. It even got so heavy at one point that we had to bring the drones down."

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