Family of missing Adams County Marine optimistic

Associated Press

The Pennsylvania families of two men who are among a dozen Marines missing after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii said they are hoping the search and rescue effort will be successful.

Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller’s relatives said they are remaining optimistic as the search continues, an effort that has gone on around the clock since the Coast Guard was notified late Thursday of the crash.

The Marines were alerted when the CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1 / 2miles off of Oahu.

“There are thousands praying for a positive outcome for these Marines and the search and rescue efforts,” the family of the Gardners, Pennsylvania, native said in a statement. “We value all of the thoughts and prayers offered up on our behalf during this very difficult time.”

Schoeller, 25, and his wife, Samantha Wickel-Schoeller, were married on July 4, the statement said. Schoeller’s Facebook page said he attended Boiling Springs High School in Cumberland County’s South Middleton Township School District, where Superintendent Al Moyer said the crash “really hits close to home” in the community.

“Your heart goes in your stomach and you feel like you’ve been gut-punched when you hear something like this,” Moyer told

William Kennedy, of Malvern, said his son Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, was from the suburban Philadelphia community.

“This is where he grew up and went to high school, but since he graduated from the Naval Academy, he’s been on assignment,” he said.

He declined further comment, but said “We hope they’re successful.”