Police Call Off Search for Missing Plane Crash Victim

Police searched the area off Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett on Friday. Durell Godfrey

Eleven days after a plane carrying four people crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Amagansett, police have called off the search for the remaining missing victim, East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said Wednesday afternoon.

As of 3 p.m., the Police Department suspended the search for William Maerov, whom Chief Sarlo identified as the missing victim. "It was a difficult decision," he said.

Chief Sarlo said in a statement that the Suffolk County medical examiner's office has positively identified the body found Friday amid the plane's wreckage as Jon Dollard, the 47-year-old pilot of the Piper PA-31 Navajo that crashed off the Amagansett shoreline during a storm on the afternoon of June 2. 

Mr. Maerov was the 22-year-old grandson of Bonnie and Ben Krupinski, who were also aboard the plane when it crashed into the ocean. Their bodies were found soon after the crash. The Krupinskis were both 70 years old. 

Police searched for the remaining two victims for five days — as much as they could, given difficult sea conditions — before they located the majority of the wreckage 40 to 45 feet underwater about a mile off Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett. The wreckage has been removed. 

"We have put a tremendous amount of man-hours and resources into this recovery effort," Chief Sarlo said Tuesday, "and we remain hopeful we will be able to recover the final missing victim, as we fully understand the importance to the family for closure with this terrible tragedy." He did not offer further explanation Wednesday afternoon as to why the search was suspended.

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation into the cause of the crash.