(Getty Images) Vittorio Missoni, second from right, with Angela Missoni, Rosario Missoni, Luca Missoni, and Ottavio Missoni in Milan
Early Saturday morning, the New York Times' Eric Wilson broke the news that a small plane carrying four people had disappeared off the coast of Venezuela on Friday. Of the four on board, two were Vittorio Missoni, an owner of Missoni, the luxury Italian knitwear label, and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni. The BN2 Islander plane had taken off from Los Roques around noon Friday and was scheduled for a 30-minute journey bound for Caracas. The flight never arrived at its destination and the search continues today, Monday, three days later.
This morning, ABC News reports that the Missoni family is publicly speculating that the plane carrying Vittorio Missoni didn't go down—but that he may have been kidnapped:
"The plane went down along an area that is a well-known drug smuggling [area]," said the network's Matt Gutman. "We're hearing reports from the family that they hope that somehow the plane was hijacked and that is the only only chance that the members might still be alive. This morning search teams are criss-crossing the Carribean for Vittorio Missoni and his companions."
(Getty Images) Vittorio Missoni and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, in Milan in April, 2010
According to the latest report on CNN, more than 385 people are searching for the plane and the missing persons. Venezuelan authorities said the plane "last made contact about 10 nautical miles from shore" not long after takeoff.
"The small plane they were traveling on has disappeared. This is all the information currently available," the Missoni company said in a statement.
L-R Giacomo Missoni, Vittorio Missoni, Marco Missoni and Ottavio Missoni attend the Missoni fashion show as part of Milan Fashion Week Menswear Spring/Summer 2012 on June 19, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Getty Images)more pics »In the meantime, members of the Missoni family have started a Twitter campaign called #findvittoriomissoni which encourages anyone who has information on the missing plane or passengers to contact the Italian consulate in Venezuela or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Crisis Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.