More human remains found after jet crashed with Tarzan star Joe Lara his wife Gwen Shamblin Lara on board
MORE human remains have been discovered after a jet crashed into a Tennessee lake last Saturday with Tarzan star Joe Lara and his wife Gwen Shamblin Lara on board.
Lara, 58, and his Christian diet guru wife, 66, are believed to be among the seven leaders of the controversial Remnant Fellowship Church who died when their small plane crashed seconds after takeoff.
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All seven were presumed dead on impact, The Tennessean reports.
Officials announced on Monday night that they could now confirm four men and three women were on board after further human remains were recovered from Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna.
The Rutherford County Medical Examiner’s Office also confirmed that the jet's two engines were pulled from the lake.
The Medical Examiner's Office is working with the Middle Tennessee Regional Forensic Center to positively identify the bodies.
However, on Monday evening, authorities said that "all indications" point to the remains belonging to the seven previously identified as being on the tragic flight, WATE reports.
Joe and Gwen Shamblin Lara were believed to have been joined on the plane by church leaders Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah.
Shamblin Lara founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in 1999 and is the author of The Weigh Down Diet.
Her website describes her as a "pioneer of faith-based weight loss."
She published a post to her blog on Saturday morning, apparently before the plane departed, where she wrote that, "God does not want us to worry about the food's content."
"Jesus taught us that it is not the food that defiles us, but rather the attitudes and thoughts that we have in our hearts and in our minds that will corrupt and destroy us," the blog says.
"It is the greed in our hearts that leads to overeating and overdrinking."
The plane was registered to a company owned by Lara, who starred in Tarzan: The Epic Adventures, and his wife.
Joe Lara was reported qualified as a pilot but was not licensed to fly the plane they were traveling on.
He reportedly hadn't updated his medical records since 2017. An update is required every two years.
Brandon Hannah, another reported victim, didn't have a license to fly the Cessna private jet, according to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) database.
It is not clear who was the pilot on the plane.
The FAA said that the plane departed from the Smyrna Rutherford County Airport just before 11am on Saturday before crashing into Percy Priest Lake.
It was reportedly bound for Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, where the group "may have been en route to a MAGA-themed event."
Air traffic control data revealed that the plane started to drop after just 90 seconds in the air.
The pilot turned the aircraft shortly after receiving advice from air traffic control.
A noise, potentially an alarm, could be heard going off from inside the cockpit, News Channel 5 reports.
The jet regained some altitude before plummeting into the water.
It's reported that the private jet plunged 2,900 feet in less than two minutes.
Shamblin Lara's daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, reportedly sent out a text message to Remnant church members asking for prayers.
She said that the plane had to go down "for a controlled, quick landing," according to the WTVF.
The investigation of the crash site continues as a crane and barge is used to pull debris from the lake.
Crews are also flying drones as the recovery effort continues.
“I cannot say enough about the teamwork of all agencies represented from our local public safety agencies to our federal partners,” said Rutherford County Public Safety Director Chris Clark.
“Our teams are all committed to doing absolutely everything we can to bring closure during this very tragic situation.”
The preliminary investigation into the crash could take up to 14 days and the entire investigation between 18 and 24 months, the National Transportation Safety Board warned.
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