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 the family of Rivera, who has sold more than 15 million records, but authorities Sunday night still had not confirmed that Rivera had been aboard the plane and said that there would be an investigation to identify the remains found.
Rivera, 43, who was born and raised in Long Beach, Calif., 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."