Family members of Jenni Rivera, the Mexican-American singer who died in a plane crash, have returned her remains to her hometown of Long Beach where a funeral and memorial service was being planned.
The plane that carried Rivera’s remains flew into Long Beach Airport on Thursday night and her casket was put into a hearse and driven to All Souls Mortuary in Long Beach.
Fans have flocked to the Rivera family home in Lakewood since the crash Sunday, putting up flowers, pink and red balloons and votive candles at a growing makeshift memorial to pay their respects for the “Diva de la Banda.”
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“From the bottom of our heart, we thank everyone,” said Rivera’s brother, Juan, in Spanish to reporters outside the home. “My sister did not die. She graduated from life. She is still with us.”
She and six other people were killed Sunday evening when a plane she was traveling in nose-dived at 600 mph from 28,000 feet to the ground while flying from Monterrey in northern Mexico to the central city of Toluca.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Her three brothers traveled this week to Mexico to identify and return her remains.
Rivera, 43, died as her career peaked. She was perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, and had branched out into acting and reality television.