New clues have been revealed in the mysterious disappearance of Vittorio Missoni's plane, which went missing January 4 off the coast of Venezuela with Missoni, his wife, and two friends aboard.
While the search for the plane and its passengers is still ongoing, new information released by Italy’s wire service Ansa suggests that authorities have narrowed down the search area to one particular location, WWD is reporting.
According to the trade, a report from the Italian embassy in Caracas stated that a blip on the Venezuelan Army radar could "identify the location" where the twin-engine plane "may have suddenly lost altitude." The area, located on a part of the ocean between the Los Roques archipelago and the Venezuelan coastline, hadn't been properly probed because its depths are too great.
"It is an area where the ocean floor reaches a depth of 2,000 meters, considered too many for the instrumentations momentarily available," the Italian embassy is reported to have said.
"The Venezuelan and Italian authorities are coming to an agreement to continue the search beyond the expected eight days, focusing resources on a defined area and through means that may be more useful."
Despite the devastating turn of events, Missoni showed its Spring 2013 menswear collection yesterday in Milan, as scheduled.
While, according to New York Times' Guy Trebay, the collection received a standing ovation, the mood was grim. Angela Missoni declined to take a bow at the end of the runway, rushing away from the show to avoid reporters.
Donatella Versace, who had shown her Spring 2013 menswear collection the day before, commiserated with the Missoni family. Referring to what she went through when her brother Gianni was murdered, Donatella told the Guardian's reporters, "No one better than me can understand the pain and anguish that they are experiencing."
But while the show goes on in Milan, and the search continues in the deep seas off Venezuela, other theories about the plane's disappearance are continuing to emerge. The Venezuelan government has officially ruled out the disappearance as a kidnapping, however members of the Missoni family continue to hold out hope.
Vittorio's son, Ottavio Missoni Jr, tweeted a link to a report from Italian weekly Oggi yesterday, which claimed that the hijacking theory should be revisited. The story claims that the text messages and missed calls received from the missing passengers' phones prove that the plane is not at the bottom of the ocean.
Roberto Cusani, a telecom expert and Professor of Engineering at the University La Sapienza in Rome, is quoted as saying, "those phones are not in the ocean."
Oggi also reports the details of an eerily similar case from a few years ago. In 2008, a small plane carrying 12 passengers and two crew, disappeared without a trace while en route from Los Roques to Venezuela. The disappearance, which has still never been explained, also occurred on January 4. While the body of a co-pilot was reported to have been found, neither the rest of the plane nor any other bodies were recovered.