Jenni Rivera's Funeral Preparations Begin
The late superstar's brother Pedro confirms her remains are being brought home.
Dec. 13, 2012— -- The remains of Mexican American superstar Jenni Rivera have been "100 percent" identified, her brother Pedro told reporters outside his parents' home in Lakewood, Calif. on Thursday.
"It is 100 percent confirmed that Jenni is no longer with us. That is Jenni and she's on her way back home now," said Rivera's brother, adding, "God let us borrow our sister, the daughter of Don Pedro Rivera and Rosa Rivera, the singer, the artist, the friend, the strong woman who always showed love – La Gran Señora. God let us borrow her for a time, 43 years, and now God has taken her. I know she is in His presence."
Pedro said his brothers Lupillo, Juan, and Gustavo, who earlier in the week had expressed hope that their sister would still be found alive, traveled to Monterrey to ID the body, and had indicated that "there was no need to wait for the DNA results."
Earlier in the week, on December 11, two policemen in Nuevo Leon, Mexico - Luis Antonio Ávila Moreno, 23, and Mario Alberto García Pacheco, 24 - were arrested for allegedly stealing personal items belonging to the victims of the plane crash in which Rivera and six others died. Among the items found in their possession was a Blackberry phone. Authorities in Nuevo Leon said they had arrested the officers and taken them in for questioning. It was another event in a week filled with developments surrounding the fatal plane crash on Sunday, Dec. 9.
Emotional but composed at the press conference in front of his parent's home, Pedro shared that two months ago, he had a premonition that his sister would die in a plane crash. "I was watching the Ritchie Valens movie, La Bamba, and I had this feeling in my gut that that's how she would leave us. I did not tell her or anyone this at the time, because I said to myself, 'this is just a crazy thought.' But that just goes to show that sometimes there are signs put in front of us that we choose to ignore."
Pedro also read aloud something that Rivera once wrote (in Spanish) and is printed on the back cover of her 2007 album, Mi Vida Loca.
Translated into English, it reads:
"Thank you for my roots and my culture, and for music and the experiences that magically transformed this caterpillar from Long Beach into a butterfly of the barrio. Thank you for not giving me any more than I could handle, for allowing me to spread my wings and fly as high as you wanted me to go. Thank you, Lord. I have to run now. I have a flight to catch."
Fans bring butterfly balloons and red roses to honor their fallen idol.
The funeral – which will be open to the public - will be held in the Los Angeles area, said Pedro, though he did not specify a day, adding that "that is something we need to discuss as a family."
Pedro added that his sister did not want to be cremated, and that the ceremony will be closed casket.
Update: CNN reports that the plane carrying Rivera's remains landed late Thursday night in Long Beach, Calif., with fans greeting Rivera's brothers and offering condolences as they exited the airport.
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