Weekend search scheduled for missing Sarasota pilot and instructor

Search for Missing Pilots - 7pm Report

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Deputies have called off the search for a Sarasota pilot and his instructor in the Gulf of Mexico near Taylor County. Friends say it’s important to keep searching for answers. They have scheduled a search for this Saturday at Steinhatchee.

The plane was reported missing after the radar of its location disappeared on Sunday, Sept. 13. A few days later the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office announced they had found several pieces of the plane including the engine.

According to a close friend, Roman Scarfo and Haram Patrick Yu flew out of Gulf Shores in Alabama on their way to Zephyrhills, FL. Yu and Scarfo planned to stop in Ocala, FL for fuel to then continue on their flight but last minute they deviated to an alternate airport in Cross City, FL. Nicolas Posada is a friend of both of the missing men and also a fellow pilot. He says he personally took the plane up to Alabama with Scarfo a few days prior to their flight that Sunday out of Manatee Airport in Palmetto.

On the 15th the Taylor County Sheriff told ABC7 sister affiliate WCTV that the plane’s main body section was found about a mile off the shore at Dallus Creek. Deputies also recovered the plane’s engine and propeller on that day.

It’s now been more than two weeks since loved ones have heard from Yu and Scarfo. Scarfo’s fiancé says she’s holding on to hope.

“Having closure is very important," said Scarfo’s fiancé Yeni Leslie Montoya.

Montoya and Scarfo are expecting a baby girl next month. Montoya says it’s been a difficult year with the pandemic because Scarfo wasn’t able to get in on any of the baby appointments and they were looking forward to him being in the delivery room by her side.

“When the baby comes, you know what can you say? What can you tell the baby?” said Montoya.

Montoya has been staying with her mom because the thought of being in the home she shared with Scarfo is too difficult.

She’s holding on to hope he’ll one day walk through the door.

“I want to feel like ok that’s it, that’s ok, he’s gone. And then a few minutes after I’m like ok, he’s not gone,” said Montoya.

While deputies called off their search for Scarfo and pilot instructor Haram Patrick Yu, friends have decided to continue their mission for answers.

“We’re gonna go out there and give it a shot. It could be the last one or the golden one.... where we find something,” friend and fellow pilot, Nicolas Posada.

Posada says even through all the plane debris they’ve found they still haven’t been able to locate the red leather seats both victims were sitting on. He says this could be the key to getting one step closer to finding them.

“And I hope, I hope that this time around we can get some answers,” Montoya.

Montoya says she’s grateful for everyone that has taken a part in looking for the two victims.

Posada says if you want to help, have an airboat, or are diver that can be on standby to help you can email him ahead of the search on Saturday at PosadaAviation@gmail.com

If you want to help the expectant mother you can donate here.

If you want to help in the search monetarily you can donate here.

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