Millionaire family's haunting final photo before mysterious plane crash
A holiday snap has captured the final days of a millionaire’s family before the German fitness tycoon, his partner and their two young children went down in a plane crash.
Rainer Schaller, the founder and CEO of European gym chain McFit, had taken off from Mexico with his family on Friday night when their private jet disappeared somewhere off the coast of Costa Rica, The Sun reports.
Alongside Mr Schaller’s girlfriend, Christiane Schikorsky, and their kids Aaron and Finja, another man named Marcus Kurreck, thought to be a personal trainer, was also on board.
Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security said the Piaggio 180 jet carrying the five German nationals and a Swiss pilot vanished on its way to Limon in the east of the country, losing contact with the radio tower.
The bodies of a man and a child have since been discovered by search teams scouring the Caribbean Sea for wreckage in the wake of the plane’s disappearance, however they are yet to be identified.
Luggage and one of the jet’s seats were also discovered about 40 kilometres from the plane’s destination at Juan Santamaria airport in Costa Rica’s east.
A final family picture
A final family photo of Mr Schaller, 53, Ms Schikorsky, 44, and their two children has since been released.
Featuring four smiling and happy faces, it is believed to have been taken just days before the family of four disappeared.
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As reported by German publication BILD, the McFit founder “wanted to explore the world with his family” and see the penguins on Tierra del Fuego.
It’s believed they were on one last family holiday before school returned.
The German Foreign Office told CNN that its embassy in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose is in contact with local authorities.
“The embassy also stands ready to provide consular assistance to the family of the person's affect,” the German Foreign Office said.
Mr Schaller founded the fitness chain McFit in 1996 with more than 250 studios now open across Europe with 1.4 million members.
He also owns Gold's gym, which includes franchises in Australia.
The 53-year-old's disappearance comes 12 years after 21 people died in a stampede at a music festival he organised in the German city of Duisburg.
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