- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) - A father and his two young children were found dead Monday after a small plane crashed in southern Utah.

Randy Wells and his children - 8-year-old Asher and 3-year-old Sara - were returning from a wedding in Phoenix when the single-engine plane went missing Saturday night, Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower said.

Search teams discovered the missing plane in a rugged area about 220 miles south of Salt Lake City, KUTV reports (https://bit.ly/2mxNYOJ ).

Kristin Wells, the pregnant wife and mother in the family, had stayed at the family’s home in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, said Ryan Kitterman, a spokesman for the family.

The family is “devastated beyond comprehension, they really are,” Gower said. “This is tough.”

Wells was a bishop of his Mormon congregation.

The Cessna 172 plane was found in pieces, Gower said. Investigators were trying to determine what happened.

“He didn’t have the elevation he needed to come back out,” Gower said. “”It was a pretty significant impact.”

The National Transportation Safety Board will also be investigating the crash.

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