TOOELE COUNTY — A Draper doctor died Friday when the single-engine plane he was flying crashed near the Great Salt Lake.
Tooele County sheriff's officials believe that Robert LaVon Moody, 69, was the only person inside the plane when it crashed.
Family members alerted authorities when Moody did not return from a solo flight Friday afternoon. Wreckage of the plane was found Saturday morning close to Eardley Split, near Stansbury Island. Investigators believe thick fog may have been a factor in the crash.
"We are devastated at the sudden loss of our beloved family member, Dr. Robert LaVon Moody. He was a cherished husband, father, brother, and son. He was the light of our family," said Moody's sister Megan Reardon in a statement. "We ask for the public's prayers and support at this time for Dr. Moody's wife, Stacey, their children and our family."
Moody was the owner and clinical director of Biorestoration Medical Clinic and Spa, where he "was helping his patients by improving their lives and overall health through innovative medicine," family spokeswoman Cindie Quintana said.
The doctor loved his family, flying, politics and "delighted others constantly with serenades on piano and guitar," she said.
Alyssa Wilde, one of Border's patients, said as a teenager she was having a tough time, but the doctor was able to help.
"He sat his chair right in front of me and said, tell me everything," she recalled. "He let me cry and express feelings about my life, my health, my struggles. And when I was done he said, I am going to help you get through this."
Wilde said Moody wasn't just a doctor, but a friend.
"He genuinely cared," she said. "He was the kind of doctor that cared for you as a whole person. He wanted his patients to be well in every aspect of their lives."
Wilde said she wants Moody's family to know that he made a difference in her life.
"I'm very grateful for everything he did for me," she said.
Dawn Borders did the billing for Moody's office and said he was a nice man who will be greatly missed. She said he always cared about others, especially his patients and office staff.
"So many people were so thankful," Borders said. "He changed a lot of people's lives, especially women, because he was able to get to the problem of their hormonal issues."
Borders also said the office staff is devastated and worried about the future of Moody's patients. Borders said Moody's wife, Stacey, is especially concerned about the patients.
"That's the type of people that they are," Borders said. "They're concerned about their patients and their practice and what's going on there."
Borders said flying was a stress relief for Moody and recalled how excited he was when he bought his plane.
"Sixty-nine is still young," Borders said. "I think he still had a great life left to live.