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Body of missing Setauket plane crash victim found, police say

A body found on the beach in Setauket

A body found on the beach in Setauket Harbor on Monday, April 11, 2016, has been identified as that of Gerson Salmon-Negron, 23, of Elmhurst, who went missing after a plane crash in February. Photo Credit: Salmon family

The mother of the Queens man whose body was found Monday morning on a beach fronting Setauket Harbor expressed relief that her son had finally been located after disappearing in a forced-water plane crash in late February.

“Now I’m sure that he’s gone,” said Ivette Salmon, mother of Gerson Salmon-Negron, 23, of Elmhurst when reached by phone Monday afternoon. “In a way I’m very happy. The problem is that I can’t see him. I mean I understand that nobody wants me to see him, but I need to.”

Salmon said she will come to Suffolk County after an autopsy is completed and will begin making arrangements for her only son’s funeral.

Suffolk County police said the body of Salmon-Negron was found Monday on a secluded stretch of beach along Brewster Lane. The discovery was reported in a 911 call placed at 9:10 a.m. Police later confirmed the body had been identified as that of Salmon-Negron.

He was aboard the single-engine, four-seat Piper Archer that was returning to Republic Airport in East Farmingdale from a trip to Massachusetts when it crashed just after 11 p.m. on Feb. 20. The three other men aboard the flight were rescued from Setauket Harbor.

But, police said, disappeared into the darkness after escaping the sinking plane. He later was presumed dead.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini said what started out as a search mission quickly turned into a recovery mission after Salmon-Negron was not immediately found.

“It was tragic that we weren’t able to save this individual,” Sini said. “At least now there is some closure.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. Preliminary indications are that no traces of fuel were found aboard the plane and that it likely ran out of gas.


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