Family of Texas man aboard Flight 370 comes to grips with loss

Philip Wood is shown in an undated photo.
Courtesy of Wood Family

KELLER, Texas - The family of a North Texas man who was aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is coming to grips with Malaysia's announcement that the missing plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with no hope of survivors.

Philip Wood was one of three Americans on board the flight, which disappeared March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. The other two U.S. citizens have been identified as Nicole Meng, 4, and 2-year-old Yan Zhang.

Wood, an IBM executive, had been living in Beijing and was planning to relocate to the Malaysian capital with his girlfriend, Sarah Bajc. He had two sons, one a recent graduate of Texas A&M University and the other a sophomore there.

Bajc said in an email that she was disturbed that no confirmed wreckage has been found, but that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's announcement was allowing her to begin to grieve after an agonizing, 17-day wait.

"I need closure to be certain but cannot keep on with public efforts against all odds. I STILL feel his presence, so perhaps it was his soul all along," she wrote. "It looks like the first phase of our mission has ended. Now Philip's family and I will need some time for private grief."

In Texas, Wood's younger brother told CBS station KTVT that the family is accepting the sad news and relying on their Christian faith to help them through their grief.

"It's a quiet sadness," said Tom Wood.

"We've been ... praying for some answers. This is not the answer we wanted, but it's an answer," he said. "We are still at peace with ... with God helping us."

He said the family will not travel overseas and is instead planning a local memorial service for Philip Wood.
After Flight 370 disappeared, the family set up a Facebook page titled "Finding Philip Wood," which has been flooded with messages of support.

In a post Monday, the family said: "Our collective hearts are hurting now. Please lift all the loved ones of MH370 with your good thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your continued support and for being our inspiration."

Wood's family told CBS Dallas that if there is anything good to came out of this tragedy, it's the kindness of people -- even strangers -- during such a tough time.

The family says they hope the plane's black box is recovered so that they can learn more about what happened during the flight's final minutes.