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In an RCMP handout image taken in 2018, an expert tracker climbs a steep incline to reach a plane crash site. RCMP say human remains found at the site of a decades-old plane crash in British Columbia's eastern Interior have now been positively identified.The Canadian Press

The RCMP say human remains found at the site of a decades-old plane crash in British Columbia’s Interior have now been positively identified.

The RCMP say DNA analysis confirms the remains are those of 78-year-old pilot Ernie Whitehead and his 55-year-old passenger, Len Dykhuizen, both of Eagle Bay, B.C.

They had just set out for a fishing trip on June 20, 1987, when the Piper Super Cub went down.

An extensive search was conducted over what was described as treacherous terrain in the following days.

The wreckage was finally spotted and the plane’s registration was confirmed last September, 31 years after the crash, as crews checked a section of Wells Gray Provincial Park during an unrelated search for another plane.

Corporal Jesse O’Donaghey says the families of the men were notified last year, but positive identification had to wait until DNA analysis was complete.

“RCMP are pleased that we have now been able to provide their [families] with answers to some long-standing questions. This discovery ends over three decades of uncertainty,” Cpl. O’Donaghey says in the statement.

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