Search continues for missing Missoni after plane disappears
Luca Missoni confirms the search party, which currently involves 385 people, will continue to look for his brother Vittorio. The 53-year-old CEO of the Missoni empire, and five other passengers and crew have been missing for over a month after their plane disappeared whilst flying over the sea near Caracas, Venezuela.
“I can confirm herewith that not only are the marine and coastal searches proceeding, but also that all other possibilities are being thoroughly investigated,” Luca Missoni said.
The plane went missing on a return flight from the Venezuelan island of Los Rocques where Vittorio Missoni had holidayed with his wife Maurizia Castiglioni and two friends. The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander plane dropped off air traffic control radar on 4th January with the four passengers and two crew members on board.
The search will continue, taking into consideration all possible options including those not related to a sinking. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry has clarified that the case is not being treated as a possible kidnapping, despite the fact that the plane dropped off radars in a region synonymous with drug smuggling.
After the disappearance, phone calls were made by two of the passengers travelling with Missoni. Guido Foresti and his wife made a series of calls to their son, however, consequent calls have only reached an answer phone. This news prompted theories the passengers may have been kidnapped – reports that the Venezuelan authorities dismissed.
Luca travelled back to Italy to be with family after spending over two weeks looking for his older brother, handing over the on-site supervision of the investigation to a closer family friend. In a statement Luca has said: “My family and I would like to thank the Venezuelan government and Italian government once more for their continuing effort and determination.” He will return to Caracas later this month to oversee a continuing underwater search.
The disappearance bears a scary similarity to a case on the same date five years previous in which a plane crashed in the same area and was never found. A domestic flight attempted to land after its engines failed and disappeared into the sea without a trace, carrying 14 people, including eight Italians. Air and sea searches were called off without finding any sign of the aircraft.
It has since been speculated that the plane had actually been re-routed by Colombian drug smugglers who would then go on to use the planes for cocaine transport.