Indonesian TV broadcast pictures of a fuel slick and debris field. Next of kin have gathered at Pangkal Pinang airport to get the latest updates, CBS News has learned.
"We can not give any comment at this moment".
The plane was en route to Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka.
"We are still trying to dive to search for the plane", said Air Marshal Syaugi.
"We don't have any information", she said, as her father wiped tears from reddened eyes. "No one provided us with any information that we need".
Officials from the Indonesian energy firm Pertamina said debris, including plane seats, were found near its offshore facility in the Java Sea, Reuters reported.
At 6.45 am head of the national Search and Rescue Office M. Syaugi received a report from a tugboat, AS Jaya II, that the crew had seen the debris of a plane, The Jakarta Post reported. The aircraft, a Boeing-737 Max 8, has the capacity to carry 210 passengers.
As per his Linkedin profile, Suneja got his pilot license from Bel Air International in 2009 and worked as a trainee with Emirates before joining Lion Air in March 2011 where he flied the Boeing 737. It replaced the similar 737-800 in the Chicago-based planemaker's product line.
Tragically, according to CNN, the Lion Air plane was carrying children among the passengers.
The cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained.
In its statement, the Chicago-based manufacturer expressed its concern for the 189 people onboard, and offered "heartfelt sympathies to their families and loved ones".
BG Nugroho was speaking at a press conference after flight JT610 lost contact with air traffic controllers 13 minutes after take-off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 6.20am, and crashed into waters off Karawang.
It was last recorded at 3,650 feet (1,113 m) and its speed had risen to 345 knots, according to raw data captured by the respected tracking website, which could not immediately be confirmed. The aircraft was on the way from Indonesian capital Jakarta to the city of Pangkal Pinang.
Australia's embassy in Jakarta is making urgent enquiries to determine if any Australians were on board when a plane crashed into the Java Sea.
Aviation consultant Gerry Soejatman told the BBC the MAX 8 had been experiencing problems since it was introduced, including problems maintaining a level flight.
For almost a decade it was banned by the EU from flying into European airspace, deemed unsafe following a poor safety record since 2007, until the ban was lifted on June 16, 2016. The ban was completely lifted in June this year.
The country's carriers have in the past faced years-long bans from entering European Union and U.S. airspace over their safety records.
Lion Air, a low-priced carrier, is Indonesia's largest private airline.
None of the 108 passengers or crew on board this week's crashed Bali were killed, though dozens were injured.