While crews continue the search for Jenni Rivera‘s remains amid the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in the remote, mountainous area in northern Mexico on Sunday, her family members are expressing their overwhelming grief over the loss of a loved one.
“We are feeling devastated. It’s a devastation to the family,” the brother of the Mexican American singer, Pedro Rivera Jr., told E! News outside the Rivera family’s Lakewood, California home.
Despite their sadness, Rivera’s father, Pedro Rivera Sr. told Telemundo and NBC News that the family is grateful for the support La Diva de la Banda’s fans have demonstrated throughout the years.
“We were having a beautiful morning, and then we received the news from my brother [Gustavo]. ‘Go see mom because we can’t find Jenni’s plane, we don’t know what’s happened to her,'” said Rivera’s brother recalling the nightmare of Sunday.
Pedro Jr. continued, “That’s when it started, really early at 9 in the morning. I came to my mom’s house. We started getting the news. Then at around 5 p.m., we got confirmation that she was gone. It was so painful.”
The family, which will be joined soon by brother Lupillo, who was reportedly in North Carolina, is still awaiting further details on what happened, Pedro Jr. said.
Collecting evidence at the scene could take up to 10 days, according to aviation authorities in Mexico. The wreckage, which includes personal items that belonged to the singer, was spread out over an area that spans up to 300 meters, officials said.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that it was dispatching a team to help with the investigation.
The Learjet carrying Rivera and six others lost contact with air traffic controllers after it took off for Toluca, outside Mexico City, from Monterrey at 3:15 a.m. Sunday. Mexican authorities confirmed that evening that wreckage had been found in Nuevo Leon state with no survivors.
“When we do find out what has happened with the body, because they have to get it out of the woods there,” said Pedro Jr. “As soon as they get the bodies out and we receive the news that they’re there, all the family is going to fly over there and bring our sister back.”
Pedro Jr., a Senior Pastor at Iglesia Primer Amor in Rivera’s home town of Long Beach, California, then went on to say, “We may be sad, but when God has the last word for all of us in our last days, it’s time to go. And this was the way Jenni had to go.”