Details of Disappearance Murrian took off from Melbourne Regional Airport in his single-engine Piper Comanche plane at 4:30 p.m. on May 8, 1991. He didn't file a flight plan because he only expected to be gone for about half an hour. He never returned from his flight and has never been heard from again. His plane was never found.
Melbourne's wife reported him missing early the next day. Authorities believe he crashed the plane in a remote area. A twelve-day search, involving 298 flights over a 10,000 square mile area, turned up no sign of him. Although he had only planned on a brief recreational flight, his plane had enough fuel to fly as far as 700 miles.
Murrian is an experienced pilot with more than 2,200 hours of flying time and multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ratings. He grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and attended Central High School, and his five siblings all still lived in Knoxville in 1991. He worked as a maintenance man at the time of his disappearance and was a deacon at Lockmar Baptist Church.
His case remains unsolved, but he is presumed deceased. He has since been declared legally dead.
Some agencies give the date of Murrian's disappearance as April 24, 1991.
- Brevard County Sheriff's Office
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 31, 2018; picture added, details of disappearance updated.