Venezuelan officials find Vittorio Missoni's downed plane

Venezuelan officials find Vittorio Missoni's downed plane
Vittorio Missoni (Daniel Dal Zennaro / EPA)

Venezuelan officials have found the small plane that went missing Jan. 4 with Vittorio Missoni and five others on board, the Italian fashion executive's family said Thursday.

Missoni was the eldest son of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, who founded the fashion brand built on zigzag knitwear in 1968. As the company's chief executive, he was instrumental in marketing Missoni in Asia, Europe and the United States.

His plane disappeared hours after taking off from Los Roques, a string of islands popular for their beaches and scuba diving, where the Missonis and their friends were on vacation.

The Missoni family issued a statement confirming that "airplane number YV615BN-2A, which disappeared on January 4th, 2013 with Vittorio Missoni, Maurizia Castiglioni, Guido Foresti, Elda Scalvenzi, pilot Hernan Jose' Marchan and co-pilot Juan Carlos Ferrer Milano on board, has been found."

The downed plane was identified during the latest search mission, which started earlier this week, "thanks to the technology of the oceanographic American ship, the Deep Sea," according to the statement. The wreckage was found in the waters north of Los Roques, it said.

"The families thank the Venezuelan Government and the Italian Government for the effort in having made this search possible, and they are confident that the investigation will follow through to the ascertainment of the causes and the responsibility for the accident," the statement said.