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PAGE, Ariz. -- Two National Park Service law enforcement officers have died in the crash of a small plane in southern Utah.
Park Service spokeswoman Shannan Marcak says the two victims flew out of Bryce Canyon Airport Friday afternoon to scout locations for an upcoming elk hunt. When they didn't return to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area along the Arizona-Utah border that evening, a search was launched.
That is a very difficult and challenging thing for the staff here. I think everyone is still just trying to absorb the reality of it.
Searchers found the wreckage of the Cessna 172 around 9 a.m. Saturday in the Dixie National Forest on a rugged area on Mount Dutton known as Deep Creek. Both people inside the plane were dead at the scene.
"That is a very difficult and challenging thing for the staff here," Marcak said. "I think everyone is still just trying to absorb the reality of it."
National Park officials say Dangling Rope District Law Enforcement Ranger Laurie Axelsen was piloting the plane. Her passenger, Glen Canyon's Chief Law Enforcement Ranger Brent McGinn, was also her boss.
Investigators say there are no indications on what may have caused the plane to go down. The NTSB, FAA and Garfield County Sheriff's Office are handling the investigation.
Story compiled with contributions from Sarah Dallof and The Associated Press.