Plane missing in Valley County located, no survivors found

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A plane carrying five people that has been missing since December 1 has been found, according to the Valley County Sheriff's Office.

Officials say there doesn't appear to be any survivors.

Aboard the six-seat plane were its 51-year-old pilot, Dale Smith, from San Jose, Calif.; his son, Daniel Smith and his wife, Sheree Smith; and daughter Amber Smith with her fiance, Jonathon Norton.

The sheriff's office says that due to the weather conditions and an incoming severe storm, the recovery efforts may be delayed.

A family member tells KBOI 2News that the plane was found on top of a ridge about a half mile east of the Johnson Creek Airstrip in Yellow Pine.

The plane was first spotted by someone looking at aerial photos on a web page set up to let the public help search for the plane.

The family member tells us that searchers, including pilot Dale Smith's brother Dellon, then used a snowcat to reach the plane Friday and they found all five victims inside.

Friday night, Dale Smith's wife Janis sent the following message to the search website:

They found the plane! Thank you to all the Tomnod searchers who found images that were right on. Dellon and his crew spent the entire day, from 3am onward trying to find the right location. The snow was very deep and the going was very slow. Less than two hours before they needed to wrap up the search for the foreseeable future, Dellon and Arthur found the plane. I am so grateful that Dellon was the one who found his brother. The plane is in pieces and buried in snow. They have not yet found all the parts. However, we do know my family members on the plane died quickly and painlessly. They did not suffer.

Bad weather Saturday morning turned back a recovery team attempting to reach the wreckage of the small airplane.

Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen says a meeting is planned Monday to consider options for reaching the remote crash site and removing the bodies of the five family members who had been onboard.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.