Missing Missoni plane found off coast of Venezuela

In this photo taken on March 30, 2005 Vittorio Missoni, right, and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni smile in Milan, Italy. The search resumed Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 for a small plane that has disappeared off the Venezuelan coast with six people aboard, including Vittorio Missoni, a top executive in Italy's Missoni fashion house, officials said. Vittorio Missoni, 58, is the director general of the iconic brand and the eldest son of the company's founder. Flying with him on Friday's flight from Venezuela's Los Roques resort archipelago to Caracas, was Missoni's wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, two Italian friends of the couple, and a crew of two Venezuelans. (AP Photo/Livio Valerio, Lapresse)

The search is over for the Missoni family.

The aircraft carrying Vittorio Missoni, his wife, and four others, that mysteriously vanished off the coast of Venezuela Jan. 4, was discovered just north of its departure point of Los Roques, Interior Ministry spokesman Jorge Galindo tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Galindo shared that the aircraft was found within the Los Roques archipelago by the oceanographic ship Deep Sea.

Air/sea search efforts intensified in the days following the aircraft's disappearance, as the Missoni family assembled at a villa in Italy. After an "eerie" text message that read, "Call now, we are reachable," was received by the son of Guido Foresti (who was aboard the aircraft with Missoni) after the plane's disappearance, skeptics wondered if the group had been kidnapped.

“The families thank the Venezuelan government and Italian government for the effort in having made this search possible,” the Missoni company said in a statement. “They are confident that the investigation will follow through to the ascertainment of the cases and the responsibility for the accident.” 

58-year-old Vittorio Missoni was the son of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the founders of the Missoni fashion house. Ottavio Missoni passed away in May, sadly before the retrieval of his son's missing plane, at the age of 92.

Vittorio is remembered as an affable business figure and highly-respected member of Italy's Chamber of Fashion. The top executive at one of Italy's most-revered fashion houses, Missoni managed to turn the brand into a global force. In 2011, the Missoni house debuted a popular collaboration line with Target that was so coveted that the website crashed when it had launched.