The family of Jenni Rivera, the Queen of La Banda, thanked fans on Monday for an outpouring of support support following the singer's untimely death after a plane crash in Mexico. Rivera was a Long Beach native and Mexican-American singer. Janet Zappala reports from Lakewood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2012.
The National Transportation Safety Board on Monday confirmed the death of L.A.-based Banda singer Jenni Rivera, and said it would investigate the crash that took her life near Monterrey, Mexico.
The safety agency, which is among the agencies that investigates air travel accidents, said it would assign a team of investigators to Mexico to look into whether the Learjet LJ25 in which Rivera and six other people were traveling was operated properly and fit to fly.
The investigation will be led by the Mexican government, the NTSB said in a statement. But the agency will send at least one representative, David Helson, to the scene.
Helson will be backed up by a team at NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C., who specialize in "airplane airwothiness and flight crew operations," the agency said.
The Federal Aviation Administration will also provide advisers for the investigation, as will Learjet, the company that made the plane in which the group was traveling.
The agency provided a time frame for the accident, saying it occurred at 3:30 a.m. local time on Sunday.
Family members confirmed Sunday night that Rivera died when the Learjet she was in disappeared from radar near Monterrey in northern Mexico.
Rivera, 43, was a Long Beach native whose records dominated the Banda style of regional Mexican music popular in California and northwestern Mexico.
A mother of five, she was one of the biggest stars on Spanish language television in the U.S. and Mexico.
She kept residences in Mexico City and in the San Fernando Valley community of Encino.
Her brother, Gustavo Rivera, said he and another brother planned to travel to Mexico to claim their sister's remains.
They had not made funeral plans.
"It's not something we want to see," he said. "But we gotta go pick up our sister. We gotta bring her home."
Earlier in the day, the NTSB confirmed that the singer had died in the crash. Still, on Monday evening, her brother, Juan, expressed hope before a slew of media outlets gathered outside the family's Lakewood home.
"In our eyes, we still have faith that my sister will be OK," said Juan Rivera. "We have no confirmation of her body being recovered, dead or alive."