Indian businessman crash, pilot fake death, Marcus Schrenker
Gary McCracken/AP
Marcus Schrenker’s plane is seen after
having crashed in East Milton, Fla.

Manhunt Underway for Businessman Pilot Who Faked Death

January 13, 2009 09:58 AM
by Josh Katz
Authorities are searching for Marcus Schrenker, an Indiana businessman who police say tried to fake his own death in a plane crash.
Marcus Schrenker’s businesses in Indiana had been under investigation for possible securities violations. His wife also recently filed for divorce on December 30, according to CNN.

On Sunday, Schrenker, 38, left Indiana in his private plane, a Piper PA-46. On his way to Destin, Fla., he made a distress call to air traffic controllers saying that his windshield imploded and he was bleeding heavily. His crashed plane was later found in a Florida swamp with the door open and no pilot to be found, according to The Guardian.

Authorities believe that Schrenker had put the plane on autopilot at about 2,000 feet and parachuted to safety, CNN reports.

Yesterday in Childersburg, Ala.—more than 200 miles from where the plane crashed—a man with Schrenker’s driver’s license told police that he had been in a canoe accident. According to The Guardian, “he was wet only from the knees down and had what appeared to be goggles made for flying.” He was last seen entering a wooded area near a hotel he had checked into.

Schrenker also headed his own aircraft aerobatics team. He displayed his flying abilities in a YouTube clip in which he describes the tricks his team can perform: “You name it, we do it.”

Related Topics: Samuel Israel fakes suicide

Samuel Israel, the cofounder of the Stamford, Conn., hedge fund Bayou Group LLC, was about to serve 20 years in prison for robbing his investors of more than $400 million. But in June 2008, he tried to avoid prison by faking his suicide. Israel’s abandoned car was found near the Bear Mountain Bridge in New York with the message “Suicide is Painless” written on the windshield.

Following Israel’s mysterious disappearance
, police aircraft and boats began searching the river for his body. When they could not find his body or any witnesses who saw a man jump from the bridge, they determined that the suicide was a hoax. Israel would turn himself into police just over a week later.

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