Authorities have identified a pilot killed in a plane crash on the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range, near Yuma, as 49-year-old Tucson resident Denise Jeanette McCracken.

McCracken’s single-engine passenger plane went down west of the Mowhawk Mountains on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 24, but the wreckage wasn’t found until Nov. 28 by Border Patrol agents working in the area, according to a news release from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.

She left from an airport near Tucson, however authorities aren’t sure what her destination was.

“We don’t know where she was going,” said Deputy Roxanne Meyer, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. “The area that was actually in, that is a reserved area. It is closed off and we are very surprised that there was a plane in the area.”

McCracken was reported missing by her husband the day before the crash, Meyer said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.

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