Was On Outing With Pennsylvania Wing
A Civil Air Patrol cadet from the
Pennsylvania Wing was found dead Thursday in Osceola County, FL.
The cadet has been identified as Rebecca Marseglia, 16, of
Levittown, PA. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
Marseglia had come to Florida last week with other Pennsylvania
Wing cadets for a trip to Walt Disney World and Cape Canaveral. She
reportedly left her group without explanation on Monday afternoon,
prompting a search by local law enforcement and CAP members from
both the Pennsylvania and Florida wings. Marseglia’s father
also traveled to Florida to take part in the search.
Col. Matt Sharkey, commander of the CAP Southeast Region, was
notified Thursday that the body of a female matching the
cadet’s description had been found in a wooded area near the
hotel where the CAP group was staying. According to Sharkey, the
medical examiner’s office in Osceola County is now in the
process of determining the cause of death.
"One of the worst things that can happen to anyone who works
with young people is to know that any kind of harm has come to one
of them," said Col. Al Applebaum, Pennsylvania Wing commander. "All
of us in the Pennsylvania Wing are mourning the loss of Becky
Applebaum said the cadet group had raised money to fund their
trip, which was considered a reward for their hard work in CAP
throughout the previous year. The group had flown by commercial air
to the Orlando area and returned to Pennsylvania on Monday, Feb. 7.
Marseglia disappeared on the same day.
Pennsylvania Wing members remained in Florida to help look for
Marseglia, along with CAP’s Florida Wing and members of local
"There were many other volunteer activities these cadets could
have been involved with," Applebaum said. "Yet they all decided to
spend their free time in CAP’s cadet program, learning the
leadership and teamwork skills that would serve them well in the
future. It’s a tragedy to have lost a cadet who was working
so hard to define and progress towards her life goals."
Marseglia was a member of a CAP unit based in Bristol, PA, near
Philadelphia. The unit included seven senior members and 32 cadet
members. Marseglia had been a cadet since July 2002.