Investigators share details that led them to Schrenker

Marcus Schrenker
Tallahasee - A 38-year-old Indiana financial manager remains hospitalized in fair condition in a heavily-guarded Florida hospital room Thursday as he faces federal charges of intentionally wrecking his aircraft and faking a distress call.

Marcus Schrenker is expected to appear in court in Florida before returning to Indiana, where he faces the prospect of bankruptcy, divorce and other problems even before his ill-fated flight. Schrenker is now in the custody of federal marshals. 

A road atlas and campground directory discovered in his airplane cockpit helped lead authorities to the remote North Florida campsite where he was finally arrested late Tuesday.

In an affidavit, investigators who searched the plane wreckage said they found a 50-state U.S. road atlas with the Alabama and Florida pages removed. They also found a national campground directory with the same two states' listings torn out.

Authorities say he parachuted from his plane over Alabama to fake his death, then fled on a motorcycle he'd stashed away there.

Schrenker's journey into federal custody started in a campground 40 miles west of Tallahassee. After ditching his plane he took off on escape vehicle number two - a 2008 red Yamaha that was almost brand new. When police recovered it the odometer read 619 miles. Eyewitness News found it at an impound lot in Gadsden County, Florida.

Schrenker rode from Childersburg, Alabama to the panhandle of Florida, parking for the night at a camping shelter.

Caroline Hasty and her husband both talked with Schrenker Monday. At first he just seemed like another motorcycle rider riding across Florida. But then their suspicions were raised when he didn't come out to shower or use the bathroom the next morning.

Then the police called. They too thought something odd was happening at the campground..

"We had discussed it. It was kind of odd through the day and then he called and he said is there anything odd going on and that was when my husband said listen to this and he started telling him the whole thing and he said I think you have the person we are looking for," said Carline Hastings, KOA Campgrounds.

Authorities say Schrenker's arrest this week ended a three-day run from personal and financial ruin in Indiana.

Schrenker remains hospitalized after an apparent suicide attempt.

"He had some self-inflicted wounds, one major one to his right wrist. It was an apparent suicide attempt. It was a large deep gash. We found the knife he made the gash with. He had been bleeding for some time," said Lt. Jim Corder, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office.

Related stories and documents:

Department of Justice charges

Department of Justice affidavit

DOJ press release

Pilot mystery archive