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Parts of Wife's Body Turn Up Around Lake; Pilot Held

January 14, 1987|From Reuters

DANBURY, Conn. — Police and forensic experts combed a snow-covered lake area today looking for more body parts believed to be those of a missing flight attendant whose pilot husband has been accused of her murder.

Richard Crafts, 49, a 19-year veteran with Eastern Airlines and a part-time policeman in the nearby town of Newtown, was charged Tuesday with killing his Danish-born wife, Helle. He is being held on $750,000 bond.

Helle Crafts, 39, a Pan Am flight attendant, has not been seen since Nov. 18, when her car was found at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

"Mrs. Crafts was contemplating divorce and had hired a private detective," a Connecticut state police spokesman said today.

He said several body parts were found last week near the Housatonic River and Lake Zoar, about 15 miles east of Danbury.

Teams of police were melting snow and ice to search the area today, he said.

State's Atty. Walter Flanagan declined to comment on reports that Crafts had rented a wood-chipping machine the night after his wife's disappearance. A witness is reported to have seen a man with a wood chipper that night near the lake.

The couple had three children, aged 10, 7 and 5.

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