News Column

Jenni Rivera's Family Has Identified Her Remains

Dec. 14, 2012

Pamela Hale-Burns

The family of Mexican-American music star Jenni Rivera has identified her remains from a plane crash Sunday in Mexico.

"We have received 100 percent confirmation that my sister Jenni is gone to be with the Lord," her brother Pedro Rivera Jr. said Thursday afternoon during a press conference at their mother's home in Lakewood. "She is in the presence of God now. They did show pictures to my brothers of the body; it is not the full body.

Three other brothers, Juan, Lupillo and Gustavo Rivera, were planning to travel Monday night to Mexico, the family said at the time.

"Now they are on their way back to LA to bring the body," Pedro Rivera Jr. said. "They've got the body. Just keep on praying with the family, keep on

praying for the situation and the plans we have for the funeral services."

Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said DNA tests are still pending. The singer's remains will be given to the family once the tests are completed in coming days.

Officials said earlier that two state police officers had been arrested on suspicion of stealing unspecified items from the scene of the plane crash that killed Jenni Rivera, 43, and six others.

The Nuevo Leon state government says authorities found images of the scene on the smartphone of one of the officers, who is 23, while trying to determine how the Mexican media got photographs of the secured site, including images of body parts and personal documents.

As the

news spread in Southern California, a crowd of friends and fans gathered at the Lakewood home, where a memorial has grown over the past week. About 60 to 80 people assembled there, including many members of the media.

Family members were seen leaving the home early this afternoon and flowers arrived for the family.

Family friend Rogelio Macias said he knew Jenni Rivera, who was born and raised in Long Beach, since the late 1980 s.

"I am very sad," Macias said about hearing the confirmation of Rivera's death. "I am in shock right now. At times I get a little sad and then I come back to reality with the world hitting this way.

"It was very tragic, very different from a terminal illness."

Victor Alvarez, manager of Rivera's backup band, said he was with Rivera the night of her death.

"We were with her at the concert in Monterrey (Mexico)," he said. "We flew to LA and she flew to Mexico (City) and that's when the tragedy happened."

Mexican authorities say the plane went down south of Monterrey on its way to Toluca, a town near the Mexican capital.

"She was always happy, she was very nice to a lot of people. A lot of people depended on her," Alvarez said. "Her music will be remembered forever because so many people followed her. She had a lot of fans."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: (c)2012 San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services