DALLAS — A North Texas mother and father confirmed their son was among those on a Malaysia flight that vanished less than one hour after taking off Saturday from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
The man was identified as 50-year-old Philip Wood, who was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 when it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand in the South China Sea. The jet was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
"Do you want to know how it feels to lose a son at the age of 50?" said Sondra Wood, Philip's mother, Saturday from her Keller home. "It's devastating. But, I know in my heart that Philip's with God and I plan to be there with him because I have a deep faith in my God."
His mother said she was enduring her loss through the help of loved ones.
"I will see him again one day," she said.
Wood works as a technical storage executive at IBM Malaysia and was transferred to a job from Beijing, China to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia where the flight originated. He was one of three Americans on the flight.
Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor announced 20 of their employees were also on board the flight. Twelve of the employees were from Malaysia and eight were from China.
The disappearance of the jet well into its flight Saturday morning has led aviation experts to assume that whatever happened was quick and left the pilots no time to place a distress call.
"We're coping," said Aubrey Wood, Philip's father. "It's been tough."
Other family members expressed their thoughts and addressed media on Facebook.
"Philip Wood was a wonderful man," wrote Elaine Wood, Wood's ex-wife, at about noon Saturday on her Facebook page from Keller. "Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now."
James Wood, Philip's brother wrote thanks to those who've offered comfort.
"I am blessed to have been able to see my brother just a week ago," he said.
Wood's mother confirmed he was in North Texas to visit family.
One of his former professors and mission partner at Oklahoma Christian University where he graduated says Wood never stood still.
"He loved traveling, meeting new people and seeing new things and experiencing new things," said Bill Goad, executive vice president at Oklahoma Christian University.
On its website, Malaysia Airlines asked for prayers.
"It has been more than 24 hours since we last heard from MH370 at 1:30 a.m. [MYT]," read the statement. "The search and rescue team is yet to determine the whereabouts of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft."
Two large oil slicks were spotted Saturday by the Vietnamese air force. There was no immediate confirmation that the slicks were related to Flight MH370, but the government said they were consistent with the kind of slicks that would be produced by the jet's two fuel tanks.
After the oil was spotted, authorities suspended the air search for the night. It was to resume Sunday. A sea search continued in the darkness, the airline said.
Malaysia intelligence agencies are investigating how up to four passengers with suspect identities were able to board the missing Boeing 777 jet, the government said, as planes and ships from across Asia resumed the hunt Sunday for the plane.
Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirmed Saturday that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand.
Neither European was on the plane, which disappeared Saturday less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, officials said. The Italian was traveling in Thailand and the Austrian was located in his native country.
Chris Brummitt, Eileen NG, Colleen Barry and Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press contributed to this report