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Plane believed to be that of singer's found in Mexico

By Porfirio Ibarra and Galia Garcia-Palafox

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2012 10:21 p.m. MST

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera's plane disappeared early Sunday.

Associated Press

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MONTERREY, Mexico — The wreckage of a small plane believed to be carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera was found in northern Mexico on Sunday and there are no apparent survivors, authorities said.

Transportation and Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said "everything points toward" it being the U.S.-registered Learjet 25 carrying Rivera and six other people to Toluca, outside Mexico City, from Monterrey. The plane had gone missing shortly after takeoff early Sunday.

"There is nothing recognizable, neither material nor human" in the wreckage found in the state of Nuevo Leon, Ruiz Esparza told the Televisa network. The impact was so powerful that the remains of the plane "are scattered over an area of 250 to 300 meters. It is almost unrecognizable."

Local media in Mexico sent condolences to family of Rivera, who has sold more than 15 million records, but authorities still had not confirmed that Rivera was aboard the plane and said there will be an investigation to identify the remains found.

"My friend! Why? There is no consolation. God help me!" said Mexican songstress Paulina Rubio on her official Twitter account. Singer star Lucero wrote on her Twitter account: "My deepest sympathies for her family and friends. Luz."

Jorge Domene, spokesman for Nuevo Leon's government, said the plane left Monterrey about 3:30 a.m. after Rivera gave a concert there and aviation authorities lost contact with the craft about 10 minutes later. It had been scheduled to arrive in Toluca about an hour later.

Also aboard the plane were her publicist, Arturo Rivera, her lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew.

The 43-year-old Rivera who was born and raised in Long Beach, California, is one of the biggest stars of the Mexican regional style known as grupero music, which is influenced by the norteno, cumbia and ranchero styles.

The so-called "La Diva de la Banda" was beloved by fans on both sides of the border for songs such as "De Contrabando" and "La Gran Senora."

She recently won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Banda Album of the Year for "Joyas prestadas: Banda." She has also been nominated various times for Latin Grammys.

The singer, businesswoman and actress appeared in the indie film Filly Brown, which appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, as the incarcerated mother of Filly Brown. She has her own reality shows including "I Love Jenni" and "Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis and Raq-C" and her daughter's "Chiquis 'n Control."

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