Search continues for ex-minister, US citizen in Nicaragua helicopter crash

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Nicaraguan authorities are continuing to search for two people, including a former government minister, who were aboard a helicopter that crashed into a river.

Police, soldiers, doctors and local residents searched along the San Juan river in southern Nicaragua Wednesday for Antonio Lacayo and a U.S. citizen.

Deputy director of Nicaragua's national police Francisco Diaz said Wednesday to local television network Canal 8, that they had recovered the bodies of the Nicaraguan pilot and another U.S. citizen. He said the American was Phil Wendell Tope of Tampa Juice Service Inc.

Lacayo was a minister in the government of President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro between 1990 and 1997, and her son-in-law. He later was executive director of Centro Empresarial Pellas, CEO of TicoFruit and a business consultant.