A Peoria father and his daughter departed Deer Valley Airport for Page in a small, noncommercial aircraft on Oct. 24, but never reached their destination.
The two victims of the fatal plane crash, 34-year-old pilot William “Bill” Engel Bell and his 8-year-old daughter, Amira Caballero, were reported missing on Oct. 25, prompting the search for the aircraft, according to information from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
At around 12:15 p.m. Oct. 26, the crew of the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s ranger helicopter unit discovered the airplane upside down in a remote location approximately 5.5 miles east southeast of Cordes Lakes, the YCSO said.
The sheriff’s office was notified of the discovery but did not arrive on the scene immediately because it was in a remote location, according to information provided by Chris Wilson, YCSO public affairs assistant.
The names of the victims were originally withheld pending next-of-kin notification; however, Wilson later released the identities Oct. 27.
A GoFundMe called “Memorial for our Precious Amira” was made by Yadira Caballero the following day after the plane was discovered.
“We never anticipated this weekend camping trip would disrupt our lives forever,” Yadira wrote in the GoFundMe’s information. “We, the family of Amira, would like to bring our precious daughter/niece/cousin/granddaughter home, to properly prepare her for the next journey into the spirit world where she will join our ancestors and the holy ones.”
The fundraiser’s goal was $15,000, and in two days, over $16,000 was collected. The funds will be used for funeral arrangements, travel expenses and “other expenses that may arise with the sudden and tragic loss of Amira,” the information states.
Amira was a gymnast and cheerleader, the GoFundMe information reads, adding, “Anyone who knows her, can remember seeing the pure joy and energy within her, especially when she was doing cartwheels everywhere.”
“She was an extremely intelligent little girl, who was tenacious in every activity and cherished each friendship,” Yadira said in the GoFundMe.
The daughter of Violeta Caballero, Amira was intelligent, appreciated everyone’s company, enjoyed living life outdoors and loved her family very much, Yadira wrote.
“She had a special bond with her mother,” Yadira said in the GoFundMe. “They were partners in travel and crime.”
Violeta and Amira loved to explore new places together and appreciated the “glitter world and all the beauty it brings,” Yadira wrote.
“She could light up a room with her smile, which helped to uplift everyone’s spirit, especially her close family,” the GoFundMe information reads.
Amira was a “bright and curious” third-grader and was a part of the Kyrene School District, according to the GoFundMe. She was born in Flagstaff and raised in Tempe, Yadira wrote.
The GoFundMe has received an outpour of comments offering support and condolences to the family.
“You just had to love this little girl if you had a bad day Amira will put a smile on you(r) face she was always positive and tried to make you laugh will always be loved and dearly missed,” Chrystina Vinson said in her donation comment.
People also offered their condolences for the loss of the father as well.
“I flew with Bill a LOT when he and I were at the Grand Canyon together,” KC Morgan wrote with his donation. “I’m so sorry to see him and his sweet daughter pass on. Just tragic. Definitely know I am praying for you and your family.”
The Peoria Times reached out to Yadira for further comment about the victims via GoFundMe.
“At this time, we are asking for privacy and respect for our families,” she replied.
The National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation.
Keith Holloway with the National Transportation Safety Board public affairs said the investigation is in its early stages and a preliminary report should be available Nov. 9.
To donate to the GoFundMe, visit https://bit.ly/2HLF1Ru.