Pioneering adventurer Fossett: Missing, presumed dead?

Record-breaking pilot is still missing from the Nevada desert after three months.

Emily Shurr
Emily Shurr is CNET News.com general-assignment news producer.
Emily Shurr
Steve Fossett
Virgin Atlantic

Record-setting balloonist and airplane pilot Steve Fossett hasn't been heard from since he took off in a private plane from hotel magnate Barron Hilton's Nevada ranch in early September 2007. The Nevada Civil Air Patrol called off the rescue search after two weeks without results, and the National Transportation Safety Board declared that his plane had been destroyed in a fatal crash.

Fossett's family is now lobbying an Illinois judge to declare him legally dead. Under the usual laws, the multi-millionaire's estate cannot be distributed according to his will until that declaration is official. They also require that a person be missing for seven years before he can be declared dead and his assets divided. Fossett's estate is estimated at well past eight figures.

Read the whole story at the Chicago Tribune (site registration required):
Judge says testimony is needed to find Steve Fossett legally dead