Venezuela has denied reports that rescue teams have retrieved the remains of Italian fashion heir Vittorio Missoni and four other people from the Caribbean.
The group was in a small plane carrying six people that plunged into the sea shortly after taking off from the Los Roques islands in January.
The wreckage was found in June at a depth of 230ft.
Rescue teams have been carrying out searches in the area for several days.
Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega issued a statement saying that she was going to meet relatives arriving in Caracas to update them on the rescue mission.
El Universal newspaper, Italian media and news agencies reported on Thursday that the bodies of the four passengers and the co-pilot, Juan Carlos Ferrer, had been found.
Vittorio Missoni and Maurizia Castiglioni died in a plane crash alongside two Italian friends who were holidaying with them
They are still looking for the remains of the Venezuelan pilot, German Marchant, according to those reports.
But El Universal has now said that rescue teams working north of Los Roques have not yet retrieved the bodies.
Vittorio Missoni and his partner, Maurizia Castiglioni died in the crash alongside two Italian friends who were holidaying with them in the Venezuelan archipelago, Guido Foresti and Elda Scalvenzi.
The twin-engine aircraft disappeared on 4 January.
Vittorio Missoni was the son of the late founder of the Italian Missoni fashion house, Ottavio Missoni, and co-owned the firm with his siblings.
A piece of luggage from the aircraft was found off the Dutch island of Curacao, about 200 miles west of Los Roques, later that month.
Los Roques, an archipelago made up of dozens of islands some 95 miles off Venezuela’s coast, is one of the area’s most popular holiday destinations.
Mystery continues to surround the fate of Vittorio Missoni, the Italian fashion executive, after reports that his body had been recovered from an aircraft off the Venezuelan coast went unconfirmed by his relatives.
Contrary to reports this afternoon that the body of Vittorio Missoni and the passengers travelling on his missing aircraft have been found, the families involved said they have not yet received any official confirmation or detail about their identities.
A joint statement from the Missoni, Castiglioni, Foresti and Scalvenzi families read: “With regard to the news distributed in the media this morning relating to the possible recovery of bodies off shore at Los Roques, where previously the wreck of the plane YV2615BN-2A had disappeared on January 4 carrying the Missoni, Castiglioni, Foresti and Scalvenzi families, they would like to state they have not received any official and detailed communication connected to this.”
The Italian Ansa news agency reported on Thursday morning that the remains of five people – including Vittorio Missoni and Maurizia Castiglioni – had been recovered from the Islander plane in which they were last seen in January.
Vittorio Missoni and his life partner, Maurizia Castiglioni, were returning from a Christmas holiday with two friends, Elda Scalvenzi and Guido Foresti when their plane vanished
The aircraft carrying the couple, along with two of their friends and two pilots, went missing on January 4 during the flight from the resort islands of Los Roques to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
Ansa originally said that the remains of five bodies had been found in the plane. But later on Thursday it said that the remains of only three people had been found, and did not identify who. The recovery mission had begun today, it said, and DNA tests would need to be run on the remains.
Vittorio Missoni and his life partner, Maurizia Castiglioni, were returning from a Christmas holiday with two friends, Elda Scalvenzi and Guido Foresti when their plane vanished. Two Venezuelan pilots were also on the BN-2 aircraft.
Vittorio Missoni, who was 58 when the plane went missing, was the son of Ottavio Missoni, the man who started a small Italian knitwear shop in 1953 and turned it into a hugely successful name famed for its multicolored zigzags and other striking patterns.
Ottavio Missoni died in May, aged 92, before his son’s body was discovered.
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A small aircraft carrying Vittorio Missoni, director of Italian fashion house Missoni, has disappeared off the coast of Venezuela.
Vittorio Missoni and his wife were among six people on board the flight from the archipelago of Los Roques towards Caracas’ Maiquetia airport.
The small, twin-engine aircraft disappeared mid-morning local time on Friday and has not been traced since.
Vittorio Missoni, 58, is the son of the founder of the eponymous brand and co-owns the firm with his siblings.
He was returning from a Christmas and New Year holiday with his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, and two friends – Elda Scalvenzi and Guido Foresti. Two Venezuelan pilots were also on board.
The family confirmed that the plane was missing on Saturday.
“The Missoni family has been informed by the Venezuelan consulate that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing, but we don’t know any more,” said spokeswoman Maddalena Aspes.
A small aircraft carrying Vittorio Missoni, director of Italian fashion house Missoni, has disappeared off the coast of Venezuela
She added that the authorities, who called off the search after nightfall, were expected to resume it in the morning.
Los Roques, an archipelago made up of dozens of islands some 95 miles (150 km) off Venezuela’s coast, is one of the area’s most popular holiday destinations.
According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, the pilot of the twin-motored Britten Norman BN2 Islander plane, dating from 1968, was 72-year-old German Merchan.
Another plane with eight Italians on board is reported to have disappeared exactly five years ago, on 4 January 2008. Only a single body – that of the co-pilot – was ever found.