Plane of singer Jenni Rivera missing in Mexico

MONTERREY, Mexico — A small plane carrying popular Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera went missing Sunday after taking off from the city of Monterrey, said authorities in northern Mexico.

The mayor of the town of Iturbide in Nuevo Leon state, Jose Antonio Gonzalez, said a plane had been located in the municipality of Los Tejocotes, but it has not been confirmed that it is the plane Rivera was travelling in.

Jorge Domene, spokesman for Nuevo Leon’s government, said he didn’t have any knowledge of her plane being found.

Domene said the Rivera’s plane left Monterrey about 3:30 a.m. local time after a concert there and aviation authorities lost contact with the craft about 10 minutes later. It had been scheduled to arrive in Toluca, which is located outside Mexico City, about an hour later. A search for the plane is under way with civilian protection agency helicopters flying over the state.

Seven people including her publicist, lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew were believed to be aboard the U.S.-registered Learjet 25, the ministry of transportation and communication said in a statement.

Alejandro Argudin, of Mexico’s civil aviation agency, said Sunday afternoon that Rivera’s plane was still listed as missing.

The 43-year-old 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 ranchera styles.

The so-called Diva of the Banda recently won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Banda Album of the Year for “Joyas prestadas: Banda.” Her famous songs include “La Gran Senora” and “De Contrabando.”

The singer, businesswoman and actress appeared in the movie Filly Brown, as the incarcerated mother of Filly Brown, and has her own reality shows including “I Love Jenni” and “Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis and Raq-C” and her daughter’s “Chiquis `n Control.”

Rivera had given a concert before thousands of fans in Monterrey on Saturday night. After the concert she gave a press conference during which she spoke of her emotional state following her recent divorce from former Major League Baseball pitcher, Esteban Loaiza who played for teams including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other woman,” she said Saturday night. “The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up.”

The mother of five children and grandmother of two had announced in October that she was divorcing Loaiza after two years of marriage. It was her third marriage.

Rivera is the sister of Mexican singer Lupillo Rivera. Patricia Chavez of Lupillo Rivera’s office in the United States told The AP that “for now we don’t have any information that would be useful.”

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