Five days after the small plane carrying Vittorio Missoni disappeared off the coast of Venezuela, the chief executive’s family is still holding on to hope that he and his fellow passengers may have been victims of a kidnapping, rather than an air-sea accident, and are therefore still alive.
While Venezuela authorities have said they are “not working” with the possibility of the former scenario, calling it mere “gossip,” the Daily Beast reports that Missoni’s oldest son, Ottavio, told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he is confident that his father will be found alive: “A plane cannot vanish in this way, on a short route, without leaving any trace. I remain convinced that the least plausible reason is that they crashed into the water.”
His hope was no doubt bolstered by the strange text message sent from the cell phone of one of Vittorio’s fellow passengers to their son late Sunday night (more than 48 hours after the plane went off the radar), reading simply: “Call now, we are reachable.”
Today, a specialized team of search-and-rescue divers was sent by the Italian Foreign Ministry to join the 385 specialists working on the case deployed by the Venezuelan government, however no debris or other signs of the plane or its passengers have yet been found. While the area is known for its involvement in drug smuggling and publications have speculated about hijackings in the past, a spokesman for the Venezuelan civil-protection authority told reporters that the idea simply does not make sense. “The way the plane fell from radar does not correspond with the modus operandi of a kidnapping,” said spokesman Enrique Martin. “In that type of scenario it happens completely differently.”