An Indiana businessman was captured at a KOA campground Tuesday night in Chattahoochee after crashing his aircraft in Santa Rosa County, according to Frank Chiumento, assistant chief of the U.S. Marshals Northern District of Florida.
Marcus Schrenker, 38, of McCordsville, Ind., was found inside a pup tent after having been on the run since he called in a fraudulent distress call from his plane, a six-seater Piper PA-46 Turbo, and parachuted out near Birmingham, Ala. Sunday night.
The plane crashed around 9:30 p.m. that night in east Milton. Authorities there said the plane had flown in auto pilot at about 2,000 feet, prior to the crash, and military aircraft had been launched in an effort to intercept it. The plane was spotted about 12 miles north of NAS Whiting Field.
According to a press release from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Schrenker radioed a tower in Atlanta, saying his windshield had imploded and that he was bleeding severely. Deputies at the scene of the crash were unable to find any evidence of Schrenker’s claims.
The fugitive was picked up around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in Chattahoochee, investigators said, and his body bore evidence of self-inflicted wounds. He was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he was reported in fair condition Wednesday morning.
A motorcycle was also found at the scene, which Schrenker had apparently used to travel since the crash.
Chiumento said the Tallahassee marshal’s office received information from the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Task Force, and the marshals task force in Indiana. That information led 15 members of the North Florida Regional Task Force, assisted by several officers with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, to go to the campground and seek Schrenker out.
Schrenker will face charges in Santa Rosa County, as well as in Indiana. An Indiana businessman, he is wanted in connection with a fraud investigation involving millions of dollars, according to Chiumento.
Schrenker, who is president of Heritage Wealth Management, based in Fishers, Ind., had become suicidal in the midst of legal and financial troubles, as well as fraud allegations.
The businessman’s friend and neighbor, Tom Britt, alerted authorities after receiving an e-mail from Schrenker, which said the crash was an accident, and indicated he was thinking of suicide.
Fearing that was the case, Britt contacted authorities.
Officials reported that Schrenko did, in fact, have slashed wrists when he was discovered at the KOA, and there was a “lot of blood.”
The gash was “very serious at the time,” according to Chiumento.
“He was bleeding profusely from the wounds to his left arm,” the chief said, adding that Schrenko also had a puncture wound near his elbow. He resisted treatment at the scene, investigators said.
Chiumento said on “Good Morning, America” Wednesday morning that, “He muttered 'die' at one time as if he didn't want the first aid that we were rendering to him.”
According to Lt. Jim Corder of the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, Schrenker had been lying in his tent, “moaning and groaning,” and he had a large amount of cash with him.
Corder said that when Schrenker is released, he will be booked into the Gadsden County Jail, pending extradition to Indiana.
Schrenko left an airport near Indianapolis in his plane Sunday, bound for Destin.
Alice DuPont contributed to this article.
Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhgPCL3uCH4 to watch the video of Schrenker.