Fossett’s ID and cash found

A new search began today for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, whose small plane vanished over the Nevada desert more than a year ago, after some of his belongings were reportedly found by hikers.

Fossett was declared legally dead in February after rescue efforts turned up no clues to his fate. But a new lead emerged thanks to Preston Morrow, who found ID cards, cash, and a sweat jacket that appear to belong to Fossett while hiking in rugged eastern California.

“All I can say is I’m really, really hoping today, if not tomorrow, they find something,” Morrow told the local NBC news station.

Morrow and his wife were “way, way off-trail”, he added, when they found laminated ID cards issued to Fossett by the US federal aviation administration as well as $100 bills.

Authorities in the area have restarted the search for Fossett, who disappeared in September 2007 after his plane took off from a ranch owned by the wealthy Hilton family. An accomplished pilot and sailor who raced hot-air balloons with Richard Branson, Fossett was initially thought to be skilled enough to avert a possible crash.

No wreckage from Fossett’s plane was found near the belongings discovered today, which were located near the town of Mammoth Lakes.