FBI stops hunt for DB Cooper, 1971 hijacker who jumped off plane with $200,000

  • AFP, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 13, 2016 14:29 IST
This undated sketch shows the skyjacker known as DB Cooper from recollections of the passengers and crew of a Northwest Airlines jet he hijacked between Portland and Seattle on Thanksgiving eve in 1971. (AP file photo)

The FBI on Tuesday called off its extensive hunt for a well-dressed, middle-aged man who jumped off the airliner he had hijacked with a parachute and ransom money 45 years ago.

After one of the longest, most exhaustive probes in its history, the probe agency said it will no longer actively investigate the whereabouts of the man who called himself Dan Cooper, and became known as “DB Cooper”, in what was one of America’s most baffling crimes.

The FBI said that after looking at all credible leads, enough is enough: resources spent on the Cooper case will be redirected to “focus on other investigative priorities.”

The hijacker, wearing a business suit and tie, commandeered a Northwest Orient airlines Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971 as it flew from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington.

After it landed safely, he obtained parachutes and $200,000 in ransom money and freed 36 passengers.

In this February 13, 1980, file photo, FBI agents scour the sand of a beach of the Columbia River, searching for additional money or clues in DB Cooper skyjacking case in Vancouver. (AP file photo)

The plane took off again with crew members as hostages, this time bound for Mexico. At some point, the man jumped out of the back of the plane using a parachute and clutching his money, falling through the freezing night air.

The case generated myriad tips but they went nowhere. No sign of the man was ever found.

Bundles of crumbling $20 bills from the ransom money were however unearthed by a small boy on a sandbar in the Columbia River in 1980.

Some of the stolen $20 bills taken by a hijacker “DB Cooper” found in Oregon, US, by a young boy in 1980 (Reuters file photo)

Evidence that will be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington include that money, the man’s black tie and a parachute, the New York Daily News reported.

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