Missing Marines declared dead in copter crash

Missing Marines declared dead in copter crash
Marines search for debris in Haliewa Beach Park on Jan. 15 after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii. (Cpl. Ricky Gomez / U.S. Marine Corps / Associated Press)

The Marine Corps says 12 Marines who were in two helicopters that crashed off Hawaii are considered dead.

The status of the missing Marines was changed to deceased on Wednesday, officials said, after five days of search efforts. The Marine Corps said officers personally notified each family of the change.


The search began late Jan. 14 when a civilian on a beach reported seeing the aircraft flying and then a fireball.

Authorities were alerted when the CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off Oahu.

The Marines were from various states and ranged in age from 21 to 41.

— Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.

— Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia.

— Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis.

— Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Ala.

— Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24, Chaska, Minn.

— Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pa.

— Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, S.C.

— Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Ala.

— Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.

— Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Fla.


— Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Mass.

— Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Ore.