Aircraft wreckage discovered Wednesday in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may be that of Livingston County couple missing since 1997.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, they are investigating wreckage of a Piper PA-28-235 single-engine plane found near St. Ignace in the Hiawatha National Forest. It was that exact model of aircraft that Mark and Janet Davies of Howell were in when they were last seen alive, departing Drummond Island on September 14th, 1997 to return to Howell. Janet Davies reportedly worked for Brighton Area Schools.

Until yesterday, the plane’s whereabouts had not been determined, despite extensive searches at the time of its disappearance. The Coast Guard and the Civil Air Patrol searched for four days, before abandoning the search for lack of sighting evidence of the airplane.

The NTSB at the time concluded the airplane was presumed to have been destroyed and the pilot and passenger were presumed to have sustained fatal injuries. No flight plan was on file. According to the Toronto Air Route Traffic Control Center, after the airplane departed Drummond Island it was observed flying 20 to 25 miles south then turning 180 degrees before disappearing from their radar. A friend of the pilot said that the pilot was known to experience vertigo easily.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. (JK)