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US pilot's body found off coast of Italy

The body of US Air Force pilot Lucas Gruenther was found off the coast of Italy three days after his F-16 went missing.

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A US Air Force F-16 is feared missing off the Adriatic coast. The plane was flying in formation when the pilot reported problems with the aircraft. (USAF/Courtesy)

The body of US Air Force pilot Lucas Gruenther was found off the coast of Italy three days after his F-16 went missing.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that the body Capt. Lucas Gruenther was found in the Adriatic Sea this afternoon. A compassionate husband, a loving son, and a devoted brother, Luc leaves behind a family who loves him dearly and a legacy of achievement," his family said in a statement, according to CNN.

More from GlobalPost: US Air Force F-16 jet missing off Italian coast

Gruenther went missing while on a training flight, reported Fox News. The military lost contact with him on Monday and debris from his plane was found Tuesday.

Even after the fragments of carbon steel were found, his family remained optimistic. Gruenther's wife, Cassy, posted a blog on her husband's base's website, saying: "If anyone could survive something like this, it would be Luc."

According to NBC News, Cassy was Gruenther's high school sweetheart. She is expecting their first child, who they will name Serene, in a few weeks.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130131/us-pilots-body-found-coast-italy