NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities located debris Tuesday in a search in the Bahamas for a small overdue plane with four people from the U.S. on board.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, a well-known New York City event space owner and her two young sons were among those on the plane. A former son-in-law of Tommy Chong was believed to be the pilot.
The plane was headed to Florida from Puerto Rico. The twin-engine MU-2B was east of the Bahamian island of Eleuthera on Monday when air traffic control in Miami lost radar and radio contact with the plane, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard, along with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, have been searching the waters.
“The last radar conduct and radio communication, about 37 miles east of Eleuthera in the Bahamas,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Eric Woodall. “Yesterday, we had a C-130 airplane from Air Station Clearwater, as well as Customs and Border Patrol.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard reported that debris had been located in the Bermuda Triangle and a search was under way for survivors. The vertices of the Bermuda Triangle are traditionally considered Miami, San Juan and Bermuda.
The Coast Guard has not confirmed whether the debris was from the missing plane, but it was located in the area where the last radio contact took place.
Family and friends in New York were praying for a miracle following the discovery, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported.
Investigators say 40-year-old Jennifer Blumin, of Manhattan, was on board along with her 3-year-old and 4-year-old sons, CBS2 reported.
Blumin is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Skylight Group, a well-known event space management firm specializing in the fashion industry.
No one at the company wanted to comment.
“Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time,” the company said.
Outside the Tribeca apartment that Blumin and her husband are selling, their broker was in shock.
“Oh my gosh,” the broker said.
The fourth person on the plane, 52-year-old Nathan Ulrich, is a race car builder and inventor from Lee, New Hampshire.
Ulrich is also the ex-husband of actress Rae Dawn Chong — the daughter of comedian and actor Tommy Chong — who tweeted, “I am sad and in shock” and asked for “prayers to his family.”
The plane was en route from Puerto Rico and never made it to its destination of Titusville, along the northeastern coast of Florida.
Ulrich was listed as the pilot but it was not known who was flying it at the time, Kelly said. Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company she owned, according to New York State and aviation records.
Coast Guard aircraft were searching along with Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force about 40 miles east of Eleuthera. A Coast Guard cutter was dispatched to the area and was expected to arrive later Tuesday to assist with the search.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)