2 bodies recovered from deadly cargo crash, 1 identified

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Authorities have confirmed one of the identities of three people who were on board a deadly plane crash in Anahuac Saturday. Investigators say there was no distress call before the crash, so what happened leading up to it, remains a mystery. 

During a news conference on day two of the investigation, Chairman Robert Sumwalt said he’s confident the National Transportation Safety Board will uncover the mystery on why Atlas Air flight 3591 did a steep nose dive into the Trinity Bay Saturday afternoon. 

"It is a mystery and the NTSB has 52 years of solving mysteries such as this, so I am confident we will get to the bottom of this," Sumwalt said.

Investigators said the aircraft was headed to Houston from Miami and was operated on behalf of Amazon.

NTSB officials said light to heavy rain was advised ahead of the flight's descent, but the plane was eventually cleared to descend around 12:30 p.m. However, roughly 6000 feet from the ground, Sumwalt said communications and radar contact was lost with the aircraft.

Investigators believe crucial answers to the investigation all lie within the aircraft’s black boxes, which have not yet been located. 

"Black boxes have pingers that will last 30-90 days depending on the model. Once an aircraft is underwater and there is a situation we may be facing here is that those pingers may be embedded so much into mud that their effectiveness may have been reduced," Sumwalt said. 

Sumwalt said the NTSB may begin utilizing a team of scuba divers or begin dredging through the mud if the black boxes are not located soon. 

According to Sumwalt, investigations of this nature typically take approximately 12-18 months to complete.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said authorities have recovered two bodies so far, but are still searching for the third.

Mesa Airlines confirmed Sunday that Captain Sean Archuleta, who has worked as a pilot for the company since 2013, was one of the deceased.

His friend and roommate, Don Dalton, said Archuleta was a husband and a father to two young kids. Archuleta was apparently about to start a new job with United next week.

"He was one of the good guys. Truly one of the good guys in the world. That’s the part that kills me. He had all these wonderful things just occurring in his life. And he had just gotten the line he’d been wanting so badly," Dalton said.

Authorities said they have obtained security video from the Chambers County Jail, located approximately 1.4 miles from the crash site. Sumwalt said the video shows at least five seconds of the aircraft as it crashed into the Trinity Bay, but the video will not be made public yet.

The FBI also said they are now collecting any videos and pictures of Saturday's crash. Anyone in possession of these materials are urged to contact the authorities.