MONTERREY, MEXICO (AP) - Mexican authorities were performing DNA tests Tuesday on remains believed to belong to Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera and six other people killed when her plane went down in northern Mexico.
Investigators said it would take days to piece together the wreckage of the plane carrying Rivera and find out why it went down.
Authorities, meanwhile, began looking into the history of the plane’s owner, Starwood Management of Las Vegas. Another of its planes was seized in September by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in McAllen, Texas.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to help investigate the crash of the Learjet 25, which disintegrated on impact Sunday with seven people aboard in rugged terrain in Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico.
Human remains found in the wreckage were moved to a hospital in Monterrey, the closest major city to the crash, and Rivera’s brother Lupillo was driven past a crowd of reporters to the area where the remains were being kept. He did not speak to the press.
A state official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said investigators were testing DNA from the remains in order to provide families with definitive confirmation of the deaths of their loved ones.
“We’re in the process of picking up the fragments and we have to find all the parts,” Argudin told reporters on Monday. “Depending on weather conditions it would take us at least 10 days to have a first report and many more days to have a report by experts.”
In an interview on Radio Formula, Argudin said Mexican investigators weren’t sure yet if the Learjet had been equipped with flight data recorders. He also said there had been no emergency call from the plane before the crash.
Fans of Rivera, who sold 15 million records and was loved on both sides of the border for her down-to-earth style and songs about heartbreak and overcoming pain, put up shrines to her with burning candles, flowers and photographs in cities from Hermosillo, Mexico to Los Angeles.
Some Spanish-language radio stations played her songs nonstop.
“She really inspired us as female Hispanics to move forward in life,” said fan Rosie Sifuentes at a vigil in Lynwood, California.
A distraught Pedro recalled his last conversation with his sister at church when they were taking a collection to buy Christmas toys for needy children.
He said his sister gave him $5,000 to give to the children. “She said, `I just want to see them smile. I just want to see them happy.’ All she wanted was to see the happiness in people. And then she gave me a big hug. She said, `I love you, brother.’”View Entire Story
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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