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  • Fugitive Pilot Breaks Into Plane, Kills Himself
    by The Associated Press
    Published - 07/18/12 - 07:15 AM | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Christina Cornejo, 39 of Colorado Springs, Colorado, found stabbed to death Friday, July 13, 2012. (NG photo)
    Christina Cornejo, 39 of Colorado Springs, Colorado, found stabbed to death Friday, July 13, 2012. (NG photo)
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    Brian Hedglin, 40, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, murder suspect who took his own life after trying to steal a SkyWest Airline jet Tuesday morning, July 17, 2012 from the St. George Municipal Airport, crashing into the terminal building and cars in a parking lot. (CSPD photo)
    Brian Hedglin, 40, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, murder suspect who took his own life after trying to steal a SkyWest Airline jet Tuesday morning, July 17, 2012 from the St. George Municipal Airport, crashing into the terminal building and cars in a parking lot. (CSPD photo)
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    (Colorado Springs, CO) - St. George Police said Brian Hedglin, 40 of Colorado Springs, climbed over a razor wire fence to break into a Delta Airlines regional plane operated by SkyWest around midnight at the St. George Municipal Airport. After starting up the plane, he is reported to have hit the terminal building and driven the plane into a fence and parking lot.

    SkyWest issued a statement Tuesday which said "there were no passengers onboard the CRJ200 as it was not in service at the time. The aircraft did sustain damage; the extent of the damage is currently being inspected by our maintenance and safety professionals."

    After failing to get the plane airborne, Hedglin took his own life. Investigators don't know why he was at the Airport or what his plans were. Captain James Van Fleet of the St. George Police Department, said, "We may never know that. The person that has those answers is dead unfortunately, so we can't talk to him. We're trying our hardest to figure out some the answers to these questions."

    According to SkyWest, Hedglin was listed as a "current/active" employee. However, once he was being investigated in the homicide case, they put him on leave.

    He had been a licensed pilot since 1998, certified as an Airline Transport Pilot and rated to fly regional jets.

    Hedglin was a wanted fugitive suspect in the murder of former girlfriend, 39-year-old Christina Cornejo of Colorado Springs.

    Colorado Springs Police said they were asked to conduct a welfare check on Cornejo at Cheyenne Villas Point on Friday where they found her stabbed to death.

    Cornejo and Hedglin had dated for about four years, until she said she wanted a break in March, according to court records. He followed her home the night of the breakup, stormed into her apartment, took some of her belongings he gave to her and smashed her computer.

    Cornejo told police he did not hurt her, but did intimidate her. Police arrested Hedglin on suspicion of criminal mischief, theft and harassment.

    He was released on a $10,000 bond in the harassment case awaiting trial in August when Cornejo was killed. Police still have an open murder investigation and have critical unanswered questions: Was she abducted? Did she go willingly? Why was the murder committed and what brought Hedglin to Utah.

    The only two people who know that information are both deceased.

    Colorado Springs police knew Hedglin was a pilot with SkyWest, so they called SkyWest and ask the airline to deactivate his access cards in the event that he showed up, according to police spokes woman Barbara Miller. SkyWest complied and his privileges were revoked.

    Miller said, "A lot of people are under the misconception that once the suspect is dead that the investigation is automatically closed. That's not the case. Our investigators still have a lot of work to do."

    The Colorado Army National Guard said Hedglin was a part-time soldier with their organization. The Guard said he was a food service specialist with no other specialized military training and had never been deployed.

    Cornejo was a 2nd lieutenant with the Colorado Army National Guard's 100th Missile Defense Brigade. The unit released a statement on Tuesday night that said, in part, "We are always saddened by the loss of a Guard member. The tragic nature of this only worsens the blow. Christina was not only a stellar soldier, but a fantastic young leader who set high standards."
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