Wisconsin woman missing after plane crash off Panama

Helicopter crash
Helicopter crash(AP)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:01 AM CST
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PANAMA (WBAY) - A Wisconsin woman is missing after a plane crash in Panama.

Debra Velleman, a retired Waukesha school teacher, is one of two women missing off the coast of the Central American country.

Sue Borries, 57, of Illinois, is also missing.

Officials say Velleman, 70, and Borries were returning from an island trip on Jan. 3 when their plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

Three others on the single-engine piper plane were rescued.

Velleman’s son, Josh, spoke with our partner station WISN. He says his father was one of the people rescued.

He’s asking the U.S. government to help search for his mother.

“The United States undoubtedly has the assets needed and certainly has resources to help,” he said. “It’s been a week. These are American citizens. I just believe the U.S. should do the right thing, bring the Americans home where they belong.”

Josh’s brother, Jake, has been posting updates on Facebook.

“Both women are U.S. citizens, and a formal request for a vessel with the specific type of equipment required to undergo a search for the aircraft has been made to the U.S. government by the Panamanian government. Our families are hopeful that these assets will be quickly located and deployed,” Jake says.

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