Fugitive Tries Stealing Commercial Plane, Commits Suicide

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(CNN) — A bizarre incident Tuesday in which an airline pilot allegedly tried to steal a commercial plane in Utah before committing suicide was linked by police to a slaying in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Brian Hedglin was being sought in the stabbing death of Christina Cornejo, 39, who was found Friday, Colorado Springs police said.

SkyWest Airlines said one of its employees on administrative leave, identified by police as Hedglin, was involved in a ground incident with an aircraft at St. George Municipal Airport and is now dead.

SkyWest Airlines said no passengers were on board the CRJ200 and that it was not in service at the time.

A law enforcement official told CNN the fugitive apparently killed himself before getting airborne.

Hedglin, 40, was a part-time member of the Colorado National Guard, officials said.

Cornejo was found dead of multiple stab wounds after a call from a family member, Colorado Springs police said.

Hedglin was immediately identified as a suspect.

“Detectives went so far as to contact SkyWest and have them deactivate Mr. Hedglin’s access cards in the event he showed up there,” police said.

Airline spokeswoman Betsy Talton said law enforcement officials will look into how Hedglin might have gained access to the airplane.

SkyWest provided few details on exactly what occurred.

“The aircraft did sustain damage; the extent of the damage is currently being inspected by our maintenance and safety professionals,” the airline said. “SkyWest is cooperating with authorities in the investigation.”

SkyWest said passengers were being accommodated on other flights and through ground transportation.

The FBI office in Salt Lake City said agents were at the airport and gathering facts with other agencies.

“It is important to note there is no ongoing public safety issue, and the scene is under the control of law enforcement,” Agent Debbie D. Bertram said.

Spokesman David Castelveter of the Transportation Safety Administration said the agency was reviewing “perimeter compliance” at the airport.

According to Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, the CRJ200 typically seats 50 passengers.

To read more on this story click here.
CNN’s Todd Sperry, Shawn Nottingham, Mike M. Ahlers and Devon Sayers contributed to this report.

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