The United States Coast Guard suspended its search on Thursday for a plane that disappeared near the Bahamas with four Americans, including two children, on board.
"This was a swift and significant loss and its impact has reverberated through everyone that participated in the search," Christopher Eddy, the search and rescue mission coordinator, said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the families involved."
Search crews spent three days scavenging more than 11,000 miles surrounding Eleuthera, Bahamas, where air traffic control in Miami lost radio and radar contact with the MU-2B aircraft on Monday. The plane — carrying Nathan Ulrich, 52, Jennifer Blumin, 40, and her two sons, ages 3 and 4 — left Borinquen, Puerto Rico about 11 a.m. that day and was heading to Titusville, Florida.
A helicopter search crew spotted an oil slick and debris about 15 miles east of the island in the Bahamas on Tuesday. The materials were later confirmed to be from a twin-engine Mitsbubishi MU-2B aircraft.
An accident investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident to determine the cause of the disappearance.
James Ramsey, the father of Blumin's two sons, told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that he loved the two boys "more than anything.
"I keep hoping it’s not real and I’ll wake up. Wouldn’t wish this pain on the worst person in the world," Ramsey said.
Blumin, of New York, is the founder and CEO of Skylight Group, which provides New York City event space, specializing in the fashion industry.
The company released a statement earlier this week confirming that she and members of her family were on the plane.
"Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time," the company said.
Ulrich, of Lee, New Hampshire, served as a Coast Guard Auxiliary pilot out of Air Station Cape Cod from 2005 to 2014 and is co-owner of a company that manufactures kick scooters and folding bicycles.
"Nathan is our beloved son, brother and uncle and we wish for resolution as the Coast Guard search continues," the Ulrich family said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.