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My Son...

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The thread about the business jet crash in Virginia and what might have happened to the pilot and not enough remains to determine what might have caused him to be slumped over the controls prompts me to write this.

My son Eric had been missing for about three years.  He lived in Flagstaff Arizona and was an avid wilderness camper.  He liked to go off to remote areas and camp alone away from people.

We had contacted the Flagstaff police department and reported him as a missing person.  They had no knowledge of what might have happened to him.

Last summer a hunter spotted a Jeep almost hidden by vegetation about 50 yards off the road in a remote camp site.

The Flagstaff police department went to investigate.  It was my son's Jeep and nearby they found skeletal remains.  They said no foul play was indicated.  Our local police department took DNA swabs from myself and my wife and the Denver police department took DNA swabs from Eric's sister.  They were sent to Flagstaff and the swabs along with the skeletal remains have been sent to a DNA lab but they told us it would be a year or so before they would have any results.  It's unlikely they will be able to determine the cause of death but from his size and build and DNA comparisons they are 99% sure it's Eric.

Eric called us about once a month before the calls stopped coming.  No Mother's Day or Father's Day or birthday cards ever arrived in the mail.  I had suspected something like this happened.  He liked to fish in the Grand Canyon and I thought he might have slipped and been carried away by the river.

We have some closure now but will most likely never know what the cause of his death was.  He was over 50 years old and might have had a heart attack or a stroke or something like that.

Like with the pilot of that jet that crashed we will never know for sure what happened.


The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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So sorry for your loss, Noel. It is very hard to know a person's internal feelings and given the society we live in you likely will never know what happened. At least you found him.You may not know the cause, but you at least know his final disposition. Peace be with you.


Bill W

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I am very sorry to hear of this, Noel.  At least you do have a degree of closure.

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A very touching thing to read. No death is joyful but it sounds like that one was a better way to go than most. Anyone who has ever walked through the woods or heath can sympathize and remember their own dramas. 

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