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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / MAMMOTH LAKES

Remains believed to be Fossett's

October 31, 2008|JENNIFER OLDHAM

Madera County officials announced Thursday that searchers found bones, a pair of tennis shoes, credit cards and Steve Fossett's Illinois state driver's license about half a mile east of a rugged spot where the millionaire's plane was discovered earlier this fall.

The skeletal remains, which are believed to be human, were sent to a state crime lab in Richmond for DNA testing, said Madera County Sheriff John Anderson. Officials hope to receive results by early next week.

The bones were discovered by sheriff's deputies and volunteers who scoured the backcountry Wednesday in what local authorities said was their last attempt to find additional clues to Fossett's disappearance before the winter snow. Authorities declined to say what bones were found.

Known for his legendary daring and record-setting adventures, Fossett, 63, vanished on a solo pleasure flight from a Nevada ranch in September 2007.

Preston Morrow, 43, a hiker who works at a sporting goods store in Mammoth Lakes, stumbled across several identification cards and 10 $100 bills in late September while roaming with his dog in Red's Meadow at about 9,700 feet. Several days later, searchers discovered the wreckage of the Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon that Fossett had been piloting about a quarter of a mile away.

-- Jennifer Oldham

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