Mexican-American Singer Jenni Rivera Feared Dead in Plane Crash
(NEW YORK) -- Multiple reports, including one from Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico's secretary of communications and transports, confirmed on Sunday that the remains of the private jet carrying popular Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera have been found, with no survivors. Rivera, 43, was one of seven people on the jet.
Rivera's father, Pedro, confirmed the news of his daughter's apparent passing to reporters stationed outside his home in Lakewood, Calif., where several family members had gathered, including Rivera's mother, Rosa, and her eldest daughter, Chiquis.
Rivera's father reportedly received the news via telephone from his son, singer Lupillo Rivera, who was in Mexico at the time of the jet's disappearance.
"This is the first tragedy of this kind that we suffer as a family," Rivera's father told reporters Sunday evening. "I hope people remember her as she was -- someone who was straight with the world."
Mexican officials earlier confirmed the disappearance of the private jet carrying Rivera, which took off from the northern Mexican city of Monterrey at 3:15 a.m. local time on Sunday and fell off the radar 10 minutes, or 62 miles, after takeoff.
The Learjet 25 jet is believed to have been carrying five passengers and two pilots. It was headed for Toluca International Airport, located outside of Mexico City, where it was scheduled to arrive at 4:40 a.m. An official search for the jet was initiated at sunrise.
Rivera's publicist, Arturo Rivera, and her makeup artist, Jacob Yebale, are believed to have been on the flight.
Rivera was due in Toluca Sunday evening for the taping of a Mexican TV show, which was cancelled due to Rivera's disappearance.
Known as "La Diva de la Banda," Rivera had a groundbreaking career in regional Mexican music, selling some 15 million records. Her reality show on mun2, I Love Jenni, is one of the network's highest-rated shows.
Rivera made her film debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the indie family drama Filly Brown, due in theaters in January. She was set to work on the Mexican edition of The Voice.
The Long Beach, Calif.-born singer's personal life has often called for as much attention as her career. A mother of five, Rivera had filed for divorce from former baseball player Esteban Loaiza in October after two years of marriage, citing "irreconcilable differences."
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