UPDATE: (CNN) — Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera died when the small plane she was traveling in with at least five others crashed in the mountains of northern Mexico, her brother told CNN. Authorities notified the family there were no survivors, Gustavo Rivera said late Sunday.
By CNN Staff
MEXICO CITY (CNN) — Mexican authorities said Sunday they found the wreckage of a small plane that they believe was carrying singer Jenni Rivera.
Six others, including two pilots, were also thought to be on board the plane, which took off from Monterrey, Mexico, early Sunday and soon lost contact with air traffic controllers.
“Everything points to that this is the plane,” Communication and Transportation Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told CNN affiliate Foro TV, about a wreckage site in the northern state of Nuevo Leon.
Alejandro Argudin, director general of Civil Aviation, said he believes no one on board survived the crash.
“The aircraft was destroyed, totally fragmented,” he told CNN affiliate Televisa.
The private LearJet took off from Monterrey at 3:15 a.m. and lost contact with air traffic controllers about 60 miles away, according to a statement from Mexico’s transportation ministry. The Mexican-American singer had a concert in the northern Mexican city Saturday night.
Two helicopters were assisting in the search for the missing plane, which had as its destination the airport in Toluca, near Mexico City. The cause of the suspected crash was not immediately clear, and the ministry has opened an investigation.
Born in Long Beach, California, to Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera, 43, released her debut album in 1999, according to her website. She sings traditional Mexican ballads, and was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in 2002 in the category of “Best Banda Album.”
In October, People en Espanol named Rivera to its list of the 25 most powerful women.
Famous for her music, she is also known for her tumultuous personal life. Rivera was a single mom at the age of 15 and is the mother of five, her website said.
Rivera’s “I Love Jenni” reality show began airing on Telemundo’s mun2 network last year.
She is a judge on the popular TV show, “The Voice, Mexico,” which was scheduled to air Sunday night. Noting its concern for Rivera, Televisa said it would air a special report on the singer instead.
A fellow judge on the show took to Twitter following news of Rivera’s disappearance.
“My heart is devastated,” wrote Beto Cuevas. “All my prayers are with you, Jenni, and your family.”
CNNMexico.com contributed to this report.