Widow Wants to Celebrate Fossett's Life, Accomplishments

Adventurer Husband's Plane Found After Year-Long Search

CHICAGO -- The wife of adventurer Stephen Fossett says she hopes the discovery of her husband's aircraft, more than a year after he disappeared, closes a "very painful chapter" in her life.

"I prefer to think about Steve’s life rather than his death and celebrate his many extraordinary accomplishments," Peggy Fossett said in a statement released Thursday.

Peggy Fossett expressed gratitude to everyone who has aided in the search and responded "so quickly and effectively since this discovery was made on Monday."

She said she was "anxious to learn of the circumstances and cause of this tragic accident" from the National Transportation Safety Board's official report.

Last November, Peggy Fossett filed a petition in Cook County Court to declare her husband of 39 years legally dead so that his vast, 8-figure estate could be settled. A Chicago judge declared Fossett legally dead in February.

In that petition, she said that Fossett had no reason to disappear and that he was happy and passionate about his life.

In August, Fossett's attorney Mike LoVallo tried to quell rumors that the millionaire may have faked his own death, possibly because he was heavily in debt.

"His estate is large and debt free," LoVallo said. "No unusual movement of funds occurred prior to or since his disappearance."

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