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Body found in aircraft’s wheel well is identified

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Officials on Tuesday said the body discovered in the wheel well of a jumbo jet at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this week was that of South African Samuel Peter Benjamin, 17.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office conducted an autopsy Tuesday but was unable to determine the time or the cause of death, said Craig Harvey, the office’s operations chief. Additional tests were ordered, and results should take up to eight weeks, he said.

A British Airways pilot found the body Sunday afternoon during a preflight check of a Boeing 747-700, which had arrived at LAX from London’s Heathrow Airport. The jet had stopped at Cape Town, South Africa; Singapore; and Hong Kong in the last week. A source said the body might have been in the wheel well for several days.


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