BRAZIL – A discovery on Tuesday by a Brazilian Air Force search plane dashed any hope family and friends had of ever again seeing the 228 people aboard Air France flight 447. The aircraft discovered a debris field about 400 miles northeast of the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
Among the dead are physical therapist Anne Debaillon Harris, 54 and 60-year-old Michael P. Harris, a geologist. The couple moved from Lafayette Louisiana to The Woodlands four years ago and from there to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last July. They were the only two Americans on the plane.
Mary Miley, sister of Anne Debaillon Harris, told the Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette Louisiana that the pair planned to vacation in France and Spain after Michael Harris completed a training seminar for his job with Devon Energy.
Miley said her sister and brother-in-law enjoyed Rio, but kept their home in The Woodlands where one of their sons, a pilot with Continental Airlines, now lives. They planned to visit family and friends in Lafayette in December, Miley said.
The couple leaves behind two sons, B.S. Hampton Harris IV, 27, and Andrew Musgrove, 30, according to the Associated Press.
Nelson Jobim, Brazilian Defense Minister, spoke to reporters in Rio de Janeiro saying there wasn’t “the slightest doubt” that the debris was the missing Air France plane. Brazilian naval vessels were dispatched to retrieve the debris.
As of this writing, searchers had not located the black box voice recorder, which investigators hope will yield answers helping to solve the mystery of what happened to the Airbus A330.
A memorial service will be held today at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the victims’ families. President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet with family members at Elysee Palace to update them on the search effort. The President also extended an offer to the families to fly over the debris field.