Singer Jenni Rivera's family is still hoping and praying that she somehow survived last Sunday's plane crash. The last tweets I saw from her 11-year-old son Johnny Angel Lopez included the message "They will find her," and a screen capture of another relative posting that the family will not stop looking for Jenni ... and that it's simply too soon to give up.
For their sakes and all of Jenni's many thousands of fans, it would be amazing if this story had a miraculous happy ending. But according to new details released by Mexican officials, there doesn't seem to be any way she could have possibly lived through the plane's devastating impact.
Mexico's top transportation official spoke for the first time yesterday about the moments that led to the crash, saying that they believe the plane carrying Rivera and six others dropped vertically from more than 28,000 feet. While they don't yet know what caused the plane to begin its downward plunge, it may have exceeded speeds of 600 miles per hour before it struck the ground 1.2 miles from where it began to fall:
The plane practically nose-dived. The impact must have been terrible.
Investigators say it will take days to piece together the wreckage of the plane and try to figure out what happened -- debris from the crash was strewn across several football fields' worth of terrain. They say they believe they have found Rivera's remains, but are awaiting DNA testing.
Even with the chilling account of what led to the crash, Rivera's family refuses to give up. Her brother, Pedro Rivera Jr., said that despite a "95% chance that she's dead," they still have hope. Her mother, Rose Saavedra, told the AP that the family was hoping that the remains that were found were someone else's:
I still trust God that perhaps the body isn't hers. We're hoping it's not true, that perhaps someone took her and left another woman there.
There are disturbing reports that the Learjet she was traveling in had malfunctioned in the past, and one of the jet's owners is a Mexican businessman who's been convicted of faking aircraft records, creating phony inspection stamps, and drug trafficking. This man has actually served prison time for altering plane records in order to make the aircraft seem in better condition than they actually were -- in order to charge more money for them.
It all certainly seems to be adding up to one tragic and inevitable conclusion, and I hope Rivera's family soon finds the answers they need in order to start dealing with their loss.
Do you think it's at all possible that Jenni Rivera will still be found alive?
Image via LunchboxLP/Flickr