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PANGUITCH — A search has been launched in a wooded area on the border of Iron and Garfield counties for a missing plane carrying a Sandy father and his two children.
The plane disappeared before 9 a.m. Sunday, roughly 17 miles northwest of Panguitch near Sandy Peak and Little Creek Peak, according to police.
Relatives and friends gathering at the family's home in Sandy confirmed that Randall "Randy" Wells was flying back from a wedding in Phoenix when his plane disappeared Sunday. His two young children, 8-year-old Asher and 3-year-old Sara, were also aboard.
The gathering was emotional as the growing group offered support to one another and hopes of expanding the search effort.
Wells is the bishop of the Mount Jordan 3rd Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Wells was due back at 10 p.m. Saturday, according to Ryan Kitterman, a family friend. Wells' phone last pinged near Panguitch about 11 p.m., Kitterman said.
Kitterman said Wells' plane was equipped with an emergency location transmitter. The family hopes Wells managed to land the plane somewhere and that the father and children are safe, he said.
Searchers from six counties were looking for the plane Sunday, the family said, with additional resources potentially coming from New Mexico if the search continues into Monday.