Vittorio Missoni Missing After Plane Disappearance
updated 01/06/2013 AT 08:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/05/2013 AT 10:30 AM EST
The Britten-Norman BN-2 – a small twin-engine airplane – took off from Los Roques headed to Maiquetia, but went off the radar after 10 nautical miles and never arrived at its destination, Venezuela's minister for justice and home affairs confirms.
Aboard were Missoni, 58, his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple the pair had been vacationing with, and two crew members.
"The Missoni family has been informed by the Venezuelan Consulate that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing, but we don't know any more," company spokeswoman Maddalena Aspes tells the New York Times.
Along with his siblings Luca and Angela, Missoni owns the company – known for its colorful patterned knitwear – founded in 1953 by parents Ottavio and Rosita.
As rescue teams continued to search for the plane through the weekend, sister Angela told the Italian daily La Repubblica (via the U.K.'s Telegraph), "Our hope is that he is still alive. We want to hope because for us it is important."