The pilot who crashed in Santa Rosa county Sunday evening has been identified.
Investigators say 38-year-old Marcus Schrenker of Indiana was en route to Destin when he appeared to have intentionally abandoned his plane after putting it on auto pilot over the Birmingham area and parachuting to the ground.
Schrenker initially told officials he had an in flight emergency and the windshield imploded on the plane. During that call, he said he was bleeding profusely.
When deputies located the plane at the crash site, no blood was present and the door to the plane was open.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office officials received a call on Monday at around 2:26 a.m. from the Childersburg Police Department, in Alabama.
Their officers told the Sheriff’s Office that a white male subject came up to one of their officers at a store in Childersburg and said that he had been in a canoeing accident with some friends. The subject was only wet from the knees down and had no other injuries.
The subject was identified by the officer as Schrenker by means of an Indiana Drivers License. Schrenker also had some goggles that looked like they were made for "flying".
The officers in that jurisdiction were unaware of the plane crash incident at that time and took the subject to a nearby hotel in Harpersville, Alabama.
Later after hearing about the airplane crash incident, Childersburg Police Department contacted Santa Rosa Co. Sheriff's Department.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies confirmed that the subject that was transported to the hotel had the same name as that of the pilot that was involved in the airplane crash in our county. Childersburg Police Department was advised of this and they went back to the hotel where Schrenker was dropped off.
Schrenker checked into the hotel under a fictitious name.
When authorities entered Schrenker’s room he was not there. After Schrenker paid for his room with cash, he put on a black toboggan cap and ran into the woods located next to the hotel.
Numerous local, state, and federal agencies are currently assisting in Alabama, Indiana, and Florida in an effort to locate Schrenker.
The FAA and the NTSB has just arrived to the crash site to begin their investigation into the crash.