7:40 AM


The Missouri Highway Patrol has arrested a man in a bizarre story that began in Canada and concluded in the Ozarks.

Federal authorities say that 31 year-old Adam Dylan Leon stole a four-seater plane from Confederation College Flight School in Thunder Bay, Ontario, about 3 p.m. yesterday (04-06-09) and flew it erratically through several states.

At times Leon got the aircraft as high as 14,000 feet and dropped to as low as 3,000 feet as it crossed the Canadian border and crisscrossed Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

At least one federal building along the planes flight path was evacuated.

Officials in Wisconsin cleared the Capitol building in Madison as a precaution as the plane neared the city.

The Wisconsin National Guard scrambled two F-16s in an attempt to get the pilot to establish communications with the pilot.

The fighter planes flanked the Cessna 172 to its landing point in Ellsinore near Poplar Bluff.

Leon, who did not communicate with air traffic controllers or North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) the entire flight, put the plane down on a desolate stretch of highway in Carter County about six hours later.....and parked the plane on Route FF.

The plane -- which had been fully fueled when it left the flying school, giving it about seven hours of flying time -- was down to roughly 30 minutes of fuel after the 783 mile odyssey.

Troopers say that Leon got a ride from the scene and ended up at Simmons Grocery & Hardware in Ellsinore.

The clerk at the store says he came in got a Gatorade, wanted some beef jerkey, but didn't have enough money, sat down and waited for cops to arrive.

Leon, who is a native of Turkey changed his name from Yavuz Berke and became a Canadian citizen last year.

He allegedly told cops that he was afraid to kill himself and was hoping to get shot down by U.S. fighter jets.

A spokesman for NORAD says that the plane was tracked as a flight safety issue and was not believed to be a terroristic threat.

Federal investigators plan to interview Leon today to determine whether he may have violated immigration law, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency said.

UPDATE: 04-07-09 4:30 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have charged Adam Leon with piloting a stolen plane in the U.S., transportation of stolen property and illegal entry.

Watch CNN's Anderson Cooper talk about measures authorities considered »

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Elegant Goth said...

Hi Kathee,
This comment has nothing to do with this particular story. I am writing about Stacy, Suzie and Sherrill. They went missing June 7 '92 from Springfield MO. Earlier in May 29,'92, Wendy Camp, Cynthia Britto and Lisa Renee Kregear went missing from Chandler OK Walmart. The approx. distance between the 2 places is only 265 miles. Is there a possibility that a long haul trucker who makes deliveries to places like Walmart and other stores managed to get a hold of these women and possibly others in different states and disposed of their bodies in more secluded areas rather than somewhere in a city? (i.e.like the parking garage you had on video) Especially if he was equipped with a refrigeration unit.
All Sherrill and the girls had to do was show up that night at a convenience store to get snacks, etc. and the trucker could have been there waiting for an opportunity.
The trucker is probably in his mid to late 50's now. Who knows if he is still driving around the country.
You do not have to post this to your blog, I just wanted to ask if there was ever any truckers looked into that had sex offender records.
Elegant Goth