Investigators hoping to answer more questions in stolen plane case
Aircraft logos were painted over, employees told to erase photos
Several St. George City employees were also asked to erase all cell phone pictures they may have taken of the incident.
Van Fleet said it's a long-standing, unwritten policy that once police establish a crime scene, those allowed into the perimeter are done so with the understanding that pictures cannot be taken.
"We control a crime scene. Once we start blocking the public off, it becomes a privileged area. If you are inside the privileged area you cannot take pictures," he said. "If you have taken a photo, you need to remove those. We had a couple of employees remove (pictures)."
The idea, Van Fleet said, is investigators don't want a crime scene compromised. And if a person is invited inside a crime scene area — an area they wouldn't regularly have access to on their own — they have to follow the no picture rule, he said.
If a city employee moves to the perimeter of the crime scene where the rest of the public is, they are allowed to take pictures. Or if a person happens to be at the scene right when an incident happens and before a crime scene is secured, "the expectation is still do what is right," Van Fleet said.
"We're not paying them to take pictures, we're paying them to work," added city spokesman Marc Mortensen.
City officials and police indicated they believe SkyWest had also asked its employees to erase photos of the plane from their cellphones. Marissa Snow, SkyWest's manager of corporate communications, issued a statement late Wednesday denying that, but added: "Photographs of the aircraft become part of the investigation, throughout which SkyWest will assist authorities."
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