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Schrenker released from hospital, jailed in Escambia County

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By Angye Morrison

Indiana businessman Marcus Schrenker was released Sunday from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, and he will likely face charges in Tallahassee or Pensacola, said Assistant Chief Deputy Frank Chiumento of the U.S. Marshals Northern District of Florida.

Schrenker, who was found on the night of Jan. 13 at a Chattahoochee KOA after an apparent suicide attempt, is wanted in Indiana in connection with a fraud investigation involving millions of dollars, Chiumento said.

Schrenker was charged in a Florida court Jan. 14 with making a false distress call to the Federal Aviation Administration. Schrenker bailed out of his plane Jan. 11 after setting it to autopilot. The plane crashed in Milton, in Santa Rosa County.

Schrenker is being housed in the Escambia County Jail.

The Indianapolis Star reported last week that Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita said he would prefer Schrenker be extradited to Indiana first to face the charges there, because “the victims are here.”

“Crashing a plane because you jumped out is a pretty clear-cut (offense),” he said, especially compared to financial fraud, which is “a lot harder case to prove.”

Rokita also said it would be “easier” to try Schrenker in Florida on the charges related to the crash.

In Indiana, Schrenker is facing charges on financial fraud. The case there is still in process. The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are analyzing the wreckage from the plane crash, and the FAA will determine whether Schrenker’s actions violated air safety regulations.

According to an affadavit from a U.S. Coast Guard Investigator, released Jan. 14, items seized at the site of the wreckage included an atlas including maps of Alabama and Florida, which had been ripped out.

Schrenker’s motorcycle, which he had reportedly retrieved from a rented storage unit Jan. 12 from a small town in Alabama, a large amount of cash and clothing were among the items seized in Chattahoochee.