Fashion boss Vittorio Missoni, wife and friends missing since Friday

By Gina DiFalco,

Italian fashion director Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni have gone missing off the coast of Venezuela since Friday.

The couple and four other people were in a small plane that went missing, and search teams have been looking for them ever since.

Their last phone call was placed 10 nautical miles from shore on Friday. Rough waters are reportedly not helping the search operation.

CNN reports Venezuela's air transportation ministry said in a statement yesterday, "All the organizations involved will not diminish the intensity of the search and also will not discard any hypothesis that could lead us the the location of the plane.”

Missoni, which Vittorio runs with his siblings Luca and Angela, said in a statement Saturday “The small plane they were traveling on has disappeared. This is all the information currently available.”

On Monday, Vittorio’s sister Angela tweeted “We believe Vittorio, Maurizia, Elda and Guido are still alive! Please help us find them and bring them back home,” Reuters reports.

Some believe Missoni, his wife and friends Elda Scalvenzi and Guido Foresti, who were leaving a resort and heading towards a national airport, were kidnapped.

Pilot Enrique Rada claims to have been behind the plane when it disappeared, telling Turin daily La Stampa, "I saw them right in front of me as they were swallowed up by a huge cumulus cloud. It was a lighting bolt. It must have been a lightning bolt."

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