Discovery on beach could be tied to plane that disappeared off the SC coast

Discovery on beach could be tied to plane that disappeared off the SC coast
An oxygen mask and a shoe that could have come from a plane that disappeared off Charleston's coast washed ashore in Garden City.

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – They’re things one wouldn’t expect to find on the beach, and they could hold answers for five grieving families.

Brooke Hensley said she has been in contact with a Grand Strand woman after coming across a Facebook post that showed a picture of an oxygen mask that was found in the sand on a Garden City beach.

It’s the type of mask one would find on an airplane.

That, however, wasn’t all that washed ashore on Jan. 13. The woman also found a dirty white tennis shoe.

While Hensley can’t be for certain, she thinks the shoe possibly belonged to her father, James Mitchum Jr. He was one of five people onboard a Piper PA-31 private airplane that disappeared off the Charleston coast late last October.

After searching approximately 3,516 square miles over 76 hours, the Coast Guard eventually suspended its search for the aircraft, which left Robert F. Swinnie Airport in Andrews, S.C., and was bound for the Bahamas, according to WMBF’s sister station WCSC in Charleston.

“We don’t know why it crashed. We don’t know where, exactly,” Hensley said.

Both the mask and the shoe were not recovered from the beach, and when police and the woman returned to the spot, they were gone, according to Hensley.

She said her father wore white tennis shoes every chance he got.

“Most likely he took a pair of his white tennis shoes with him,” Hensley said.

She’s asking that anyone who finds something on the beach that appears out of place to pick it up and take it to law enforcement. It could ultimately prove helpful in providing answers for Hensley and the relatives of the other passengers onboard that plane.

“They left that morning and never came back,” Hensley said.

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