updated 12/10/2012 AT 9:05 AM ET
•originally published 12/10/2012 AT 9:20 AM ET
While fans far and wide share their sympathy over the death of singer Jenni Rivera, her family members are expressing their grief over the personal loss.
“We are feeling devastated. It’s a devastation to the family,” the 43-year-old’s brother, Pedro Rivera Jr., told E! News outside the Lakewood, Calif., home of the Riveras, while her father, Pedro Rivera Sr. told Telemundo and NBC News that, despite their sadness, the family is grateful for the support Jenni’s fans have shown her over the years.
Reliving the nightmare of Sunday, her brother said, “We were having a beautiful morning, and then we received the news from my brother [Gustavo]. ‘Go see mom because we can’t find Jenni’s plane, we don’t know what’s happened to her.’ ”
Pedro Jr. continued, “That’s when it started, really early at 9 in the morning. I came to my mom’s house. We started getting the news. Then at around 5 p.m., we got confirmation that she was gone. It was so painful.”
The family, soon to be joined by brother Lupillo (who was in North Carolina, E! reports), is still awaiting further details on what happened, Pedro Jr. said Sunday.
What has been reported so far is a Learjet carrying the performer and six others lost contact with air traffic controllers after it took off for Toluca, outside Mexico City, from Monterrey, Mexico, at 3:15 a.m. Sunday. Mexican authorities confirmed that evening that wreckage had been found in Nuevo Leon state and there were no survivors.
“When we do find out what has happened with the body, because they have to get it out of the woods there,” said Pedro Jr. “As soon as they get the bodies out and we receive the news that they’re there, all the family is going to fly over there and bring our sister back.”
He also thanked fans for “all the love you gave to Jenni and to all the family. It is just so special to have you guys as fans.”
Rivera, who is Senior Pastor at Iglesia Primer Amor in Long Beach, Calif., then went on to say, “We may be sad, but when God has the last word for all of us in our last days, it’s time to go. And this was the way Jenni had to go.”