19th Jul 2012 12:30pm | By Laura Chubb
A US pilot suspected of killing his girlfriend broke into an airport, stole a plane and then shot himself dead in the aircraft, it has emerged.
Brian Joseph Hedglin, a SkyWest Airlines pilot, was on leave from the company after his girlfriend Cristina Cornejo was found stabbed to death. Even though he had not formally been charged, it is understood that Hedglin was suspected of her murder.
According to reports, Hedglin stole an empty 50-passenger jet from a small airport in Utah, lost control of the craft as he drove it along the runway, crashed it in the airport's car park, then shot himself in the head.
Officials said that Hedglin had scaled the razor-wire topped fence at the St. George Municipal Airport by using a rug for protection.
Authorities are working on determining how Hedglin was able to steal the plane, while police are awaiting toxicology reports that will show whether drugs or alcohol had contributed to the incident.
News website boston.com reported that SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow confirmed Hedglin's access to the plane had been "unauthorised", but did not provide details on how he was able to board the plane.