Family of US pilot who died in Africa crash to hold NYC Mass, though remains still in wreckage

The family of an American anti-poaching pilot who died in a plane crash in Cameroon last year plans to hold a New York City memorial even though his remains have yet to be removed from the wreckage in Africa.

Pilot Bill Fitzpatrick's brother, Ken, says a Catholic Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in the Bronx on Saturday.

Bill Fitzpatrick disappeared on June 22, 2014 while flying a Cessna 172 to a job in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Republic of Congo. The wreckage containing Fitzpatrick's remains was discovered in April.

African Parks, the Johannesburg-based group that employed Fitzpatrick, previously said it was waiting for Cameroonian officials to assist in the removal of the pilot's remains. Officials in Cameroon have said the crash site is secure.