The family of regional Mexican singer Jenni Rivera said they still believe their famous relative is alive. This comes after Mexican authorities confirmed the American-born artist died with seven others in a Learjet that crashed on Dec. 9 in the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon shortly after take off.
"In our eyes we still have faith that our sister is okay," sibling Juan Rivera said. "We still have no confirmation of her body being recovered, dead or alive."
During an emotional press conference on Dec. 10 at the home of the Jenni Rivera's parents in Lakewood, Calif., Juan Rivera and other members of the family said they had been in daylong meetings as they prepared for the possibility of traveling to Mexico.
Additionally, reports on Monday from sources in Mexico indicated that bodies from the crash were taken to a hospital in Monterrey, but that DNA testing would take at least a few days.
The songstress' other brother Pedro Rivera added that while the family remained hopeful, they also know there's a 95% chance Rivera may not be alive after authorities discovered the aircraft and the belongings of those on board.
"We believe in that 5 % because we don't have Jenni's body or an indication that [what Mexican authorities found] is Jenni," Pedro said. "God makes miracles happen."
Rivera, a top-charting artist who was born in Long Beach-Calif., was traveling with her publicist, Arturo Rivera; her stylist Jorge Sanchez; her makeup artist Jacob Llenares (whose name has been reported as Jacobo Llenares); her attorney Mario Macias; and two pilots. The plane took off from Monterrey after Rivera performed a concert in front of more than 15,000 fans, according to reports.
Lupillo Rivera, also a famous corridos singer, took several deep breathes before addressing members of the media and fans.
"We're having a difficult time," Lupillo said, holding back tears. "We thank you for being worried about Jenni. Please let my family have some time alone. I ask you this as a friend."
The family patriarch, also named Pedro Rivera, stood by his sons and thanked everyone for their support. "As soon as we have more information from Mexican authorities we'll make plans to head to Mexico," he said.
News of Rivera's plane crash made international headlines and fans have taken to social media platforms to pay their respects.
Fans and members of the press have stayed outside Rivera's home for two days. The home, adorned with Christmas decorations and lights, was busy with family members and friends arriving through the day.
For tearful fan Miriam Estrada of Paramount, Calif., being at the press conference was the least she could do as a longtime fan of the singer.
"Jenni was a grand woman," said Estrada, 43. "She was the voice for woman. She gave us strength. Fame or money did not change her. I have hope that she's still alive. God is huge. Jenni was a woman of faith and faith moves mountains."