Marcus Schrenker's Life Spirals Out of Control

"He said he had broken down and someone down the road directed him our way and he wanted to rent one of our garages," Wood told ABC News. "Very talkative, very charming. He said he was headed to Florida."

The stored bike would be the centerpiece of Schrenker's deception. He stashed his motorcycle in nearly the exact place where he would fall from the sky the next day.

We asked Schrenker what his plan was when he towed his motorcycle to the facility.

"I didn't have a plan," Schrenker said. "I was so mentally devastated and at that point it was really the divorce that had hit me very hard. And after my stepfather's funeral I just snapped and I started driving."

But U.S. Marshal Frank Chiumento said Schrenker indeed had a plan that was detailed and deliberate.

"It was obvious in gathering all the intelligence and all the information about this flight from Indiana to Florida that he devised an escape plan to fake his own death," said Chiumento. "There was a lot of planning that went into this."

Schrenker Denies Plans to Vanish

Yet Schrenker still denies that he was planning to vanish.

"If I was trying to fake my death, I would have left my I.D.s and everything in the airplane," he said. "I would have filled out the airplane full of fuel and let it go out over the Gulf or wherever it was trying to go. You know, make sure that the airplane couldn't be found."

This has the ring of another bold lie. In fact, Schrenker had topped off his fuel tank in what appeared to be the perfect disappearance scheme: jump out of the plane and let it keep flying into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Schrenker would be presumed dead, and no one would find his body.

Instead, the plane crashed just a few miles short of the Gulf, and Schrenker's perfect crime disintegrated.

"Once we went through the airplane and inspected things that were present at the crash site, we found a lot more valuable evidence," said Sgt. Haines.

The discovery of the wreckage, with no pilot, set off a multi-state dragnet.

"The most critical piece of evidence that we received was the fact that a U.S. campground directory was located in the wreckage with the Florida state campground sites ripped out of it," said Chiumento.

In fact, nearly 24 hours after plunging from his plane, Schrenker ended up at a campground in Chattahoochee, Fla.

Inside his tent, Schrenker's lies were about to catch up to him. He was able to go online using a laptop he'd stored with his motorcycle. He got a big surprise.

He learned that his plane had not disappeared in the Gulf of Mexico as he had planned -- and he was now a wanted man. Schrenker recalled the moment.

"When I saw myself on...the Web site, it was over, you know. I had no desire to live at that point...I embarrassed my family so much," Schrenker said.

Chiumento speculated on Schrenker's motivations.

"He probably thought he had a very ingenious escape plan initially and it unraveled very quickly," said Chiumento. "And he may have had an alternate plan that if it didn't work out, he was going to commit suicide."

Getaway Plan Takes Dark Turn

This time Schrenker really was trying to take his life. He slashed his wrist with a camping knife. He lost a lot of blood and came close to death. But authorities were closing in.

Schrenker said he doesn't remember being found at the campsite.

"They said I was as white as a sheet and I wasn't breathing when they got to me," he said.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...