Search continues for missing pilot and passengers

They left Minter Field in Shafter on Sunday headed for Wyoming.
The search continues for a Bakersfield native and his two loved ones, who disappeared while flying home to Wyoming.

37-year-old Matthew Ahrens, his 34-year-old girlfriend Trista Meyer and her 9-year-old daughter Shyanne Lenz were last seen Sunday.

"There are no signs of anything right now. The weather is coming in so they have until tomorrow afternoon to be in the air to look over the mountains," said Donna Moran, Matthew Ahrens' sister. "After tomorrow, I don't know what's going to happen."

The three boarded a Piper Archer II plane, flown by Ahrens, an avid pilot.

They took off from Minter Field in Shafter Sunday morning and headed to Gillette, Wyoming where they live.

Ahrens grew up in Bakersfield and graduated from South High School. All three were in Kern County for Thanksgiving weekend.

"We had Thanksgiving here and had a great time. My husband was able to take long walks with Matthew and I was able to take long walks with Trista. It was fantastic," Moran said.

After taking off from Shafter, the trio stopped in Tehachapi for fuel. Hours later, they made another stop in Fillmore, Utah.

"Something went wrong over the skies of Utah," said Moran.

A massive search is now underway. Volunteers are searching from the ground and nine planes are searching from the air.

Ahrens' brother, David, an avid pilot himself, is also conducting his own search.
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