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Tue, Nov 04, 2008

DNA Testing Confirms Remains Are Fossett's

Bones Found A Half-Mile From Sierra Nevada Crash Site

Another piece of the puzzle surrounding the death of storied adventurer Steve Fossett has come together. Authorities confirmed Monday that DNA testing of two bones found last week near the wreckage of Fossett's plane were positively identified as his remains.

The Associated Press reports the California Department of Justice conducted the tests on the remains, found approximately one-half mile from where the wreckage of the Bellanca Decathlon piloted by Fossett was located October 2.

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson did not state what bones were discovered, out of respect to Fossett's widow, Peggy, and his family. Anderson stated in earlier reports the location of the bones indicated the remains had been dragged from the accident site by animals.

In a statement thanking authorities for their work, Peggy Fossett said revelations over the last month should put an end to any rumors that Fossett staged his own death.

"I am hopeful that the DNA identification puts a definitive end to all of the speculation surrounding Steve's death," she said. "This has been an incredibly difficult time for me, and I am thankful to everyone who helped bring closure to this tragedy."

As ANN reported, Fossett disappeared after taking off from a ranch near Yerlington, NV on a Labor Day 2007 pleasure flight. A massive 20,000 square-mile search effort by law enforcement, federal search crews and private teams failed to turn up any sign of Fossett, or his airplane.

Hiker Preston Morrow came across three pieces of identification -- including Fossett's FAA pilot identification card, and his Soaring Society of America membership ID -- as well as $1005 during a September 29 off-trail hike near Mammoth Lakes, CA.

Authorities believe Fossett was killed when his plane impacted a Sierra peak near 10,000 feet MSL.

FMI: www.stevefossett.com

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