Two Bay Area men missing following plane crash, loved ones seek volunteers and equipment to continue search

Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been nearly two weeks since Roman Scarfo’s single-engine plane went down off the coast of Taylor County, Florida.

The plane’s final destination was supposed to be Sarasota-Bradenton International airport, but weather diverted the flight toward Dixie County before the crash happened.

Search crews have been hard at work since the crash happened on Sept.13, but officials with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office called off their efforts earlier this week.

Now countless volunteers who participated in the recovery efforts are seeking help to continue on.

Several volunteers have flown their personal planes up to the airport in Cross City to help search from up above. Now, they want to shift their focus to the sea and nearby marshy areas. To do so, they’ll need ground volunteers, divers, search dogs, and access to airboats.

“I would say right now, we need to count on people to say we have an airboat, we are willing to go out there for this many hours or this many days. We have we are divers and we are willing to be there ready if somebody spots something. There are search and rescue dogs from Florida Search and Rescue and as of now, I know they are on standby. So we have two, three, four dogs and handlers ready to deploy, but again we need an airboat to access the shoreline,” said volunteer Nicolas Posada.

Nicolas Posada is close friends with both victims. He volunteered in the search all last week and wants to help bring his friends, Haram Patrick Yu of Tampa and Roman Scarfo of Sarasota back home to their families.

Nicolas Posada with Haram Patrick Yu

“As a close friend, passionate in aviation, I have flown with both of them many many hours and I want to be part of this. We all want closure. Not only the families, but friends. I want to say this stage has been closed and now let’s move on and keep moving forward, but we want to make our best efforts to be in that stage,” said Posada.

Search crews in Taylor County have recovered around 80-percent of the single engine plane from Gulf of Mexico waters about a mile off of Dallus Creek. Posada says they still haven’t located a key piece of the plane — the seats.

“A good 80% or more of the aircraft was found, including wings, engine, landing gear, propeller, a good portion of the tail and fuselage. The cushions where they were sitting and the back support are bright red leather. That is the key piece. That is what we are looking for,” explained Posada.

Scarfo’s fiancee, Yeni Montoya, is eight-months pregnant and desperately seeking closure.

“It is never-ending pain and sometimes it is weird because I go back home and I feel like he is just traveling and he is going to come back,” said Montoya. “I’m getting ready for the baby at home and I keep thinking in the back of my mind OK, he is going to come back. I feel like if we don’t recover him one way or another, I am going to keep feeling that way.. hat he is going to come back one day. It is so hard,” she continued.

Montoya is incredibly thankful for all of the help and support she’s received over the last two weeks.

“We need help. If there are any volunteers that would want to help, anybody that would have the boats, the equipment to be able to help with that..that would be really really appreciated at this point. The family is very concerned with my health as well with the baby, so they really want some closure,” said Montoya.

Family friends have created a GoFundMe page to help with costs to continue the search for Scarfo and Yu.

Anyone interested in joining in on search efforts or helping with supplies can contact Posada at posadaaviation@gmail.com.

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