Police Help Military Recover Remains 05-01-01

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
HILO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION SECTION
LIEUTENANT DEREK D. PACHECO
PHONE: 961-2252
MAY 1, 2001
G-66009

MEDIA RELEASE

Big Island police helped military personnel recover unidentified remains found recently in the vicinity of a plane crash that occurred on Mauna Kea in 1974.

On Tuesday (April 24, 2001), police received a request for assistance from the Army Central Identification Laboratory of Hawaii at Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu.

The lab asked for help in securing the crash site, locating remains in the area and retrieving them.

Police helped in the recovery of the remains, which were sent to the military lab for identification.

On December 15, 1974, a Navy RF-8 reconnaissance jet crashed at the 11,000-foot level of the mountain.

At the time of the crash, it was reported that the remains of the pilot, identified as Lieutenant John F.R. Wantz, 29, were recovered from the crash site by Hawaii Fire Department rescue personnel and taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was identified. Wantz was the only person aboard the aircraft.

Police are referring all inquiries about the crash and the recent recovery effort to the U.S. Navy on Oahu.

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