Steve Fossett, the millionaire businessman missing since last year after his single-engine plane disappeared over the Nevada desert, has been found "dead".
A court in Chicago released the news yesterday after it analysed all the evidence which, it said, was "more than sufficient" for it to find him dead, despite not discovering his body, nor any trace of the plane.
The court did not think there was any resemblance to the recent case in England, where John Darwin, a 57-year-old canoeist, went missing for five years after his vessel was found on the beach at Seaton Carew, only for him to turn up at a London police station looking "dishevelled". His wife had relocated to Panama on the proceeds of his life insurance.
Mr Fossett was declared "legally dead" by the court, and his wife can now quite rightly lay claim to his estate, described by some as "vast". The intrepid adventurer will have to 'lay low' for quite some time, though, and will need to use some of his money on plastic surgery.
Mrs Fossett was said to be delighted at the court's finding. She said:
"Steve and I can now get on with the rest of our lives in peace."