March 5 (UPI) -- The four Americans who died in a Kenyan helicopter crash late Sunday have been identified.
The U.S. Embassy in Kenya confirmed the victims as Brandon Howe Stapper, of San Diego; David Mark Baker, from Coronado, Calif.; Kyle John Forti, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Anders Asher Jesiah Burke, a San Diego native who moved to Puerto Rico in 2017.
Kenyan officials said that the four died with pilot Mario Magonga as they attempted to leave the Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana on Sunday night. Rescue crews found the wreckage and the bodies after a search that lasted into the early morning hours Monday.
Burke, a political consultant who created the brand incubator Bland, had purchased a lodge in Kenya that he wanted to turn into a vacation destination for entrepreneurs, friends of the men told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Burke invited friends, that included Stapper, Baker, and Forti, to the lodge. Stapper was a San Diego custom printer who became successful enough to develop his own private equity firm in his 20s.
Friends said that Stapper's girlfriend, Gehane Ribeyre, was in another helicopter that took off safely from the area just moments earlier.
Baker was part-owner of a brewery and other businesses, a runner and close friends of Coronado mayor Richard Bailey. Forti was a well-known Republican campaign manager in Colorado, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
The Colorado Senate and House observed moments of silence Monday morning in Forti's memory.
"I've struggled to put into words the goodness that was Kyle Forti and the bright light in this world that is his wife Hope Forti and their son Maximus," Democratic lobbyist Benjamin Waters said in a Facebook post. "My heart is completely broken for the entire Colorado political and child welfare community that knew him."
The crash remained under investigation by Kenyan officials. Officials described Magonga as an experienced flyer and a former Kenya Defense Forces pilot. He had been working for KIDL Helicopters based at Wilson Airport in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.