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911 call reveals frantic search to determine if pilot’s daughter was on board before crash

By Jeremy Finley

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — A 911 call made on the morning of the May 29 plane crash into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna that killed diet guru Gwen Shamblin, her husband Joe Lara and five other members of her church showed there was also concern that a child had been on board.

The crash and Shamblin’s controversial church have recently been the subject of the HBO documentary “The Way Down.”

In the call obtained by News4 Investigates, Natasha Pavlovich, Lara’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, called Brentwood 911 after hearing about the plane crash.

“I need to know who is on that airplane!” Pavlovich can be heard saying in the call.

The call, uncovered by News4 Investigates in our ongoing investigation into the crash, revealed that on the day before the accident, Pavlovich had dropped off her daughter to Lara.

Saying in the 911 call that she was out of town, Pavlovich frantically asks for an operator to help determine who was on the plane.

“I left a message for the father. I said this is an emergency. Call me immediately,” Pavlovich said in the call.

News4 Investigates’ previous reporting into the crash, based on documentation from the contentious child support battle over their daughter, revealed Pavlovich did not want the girl riding in a plane in which Lara was the pilot.

In an email to Lara, Pavlovich wrote, “If you are flying her in a private aircraft, I do not agree with that mode of transportation for our daughter as I have legitimate concerns for safety. Please accept this notice as a formal demand from transporting (their daughter) with this type of private air situation.”

News4 Investigates’ reporting revealed Lara’s prior drug use and raised questions whether or not the FAA was aware of it.

In the 911 call, the operator tells Pavlovich that she cannot determine who was on the plane, but immediately launches a welfare check.

In the incident report, police were sent to Remnant Fellowship Church and ultimately found the girl at a McDonald’s with Lara’s mother.

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