Brother of missing Malaysia passenger: 'We need answers'

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by LAUREN ZAKALIK

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaalauren

WFAA

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 17 at 7:59 PM

It's been 10 excruciating days since James Wood has known definitively where his brother Philip was.

"It's tiring," James said. "I can't begin to describe the ups and downs."

Philip is one of 239 people missing after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The 50-year-old IBM executive from Keller was flying to China to pick up his girlfriend Sarah Bajc, then move with her to Kuala Lumpur, where he was to start another job with IBM, according to James.

"[This was] the last time he was going to need to take this flight," James said.

If the stress of the mystery wasn't enough, this weekend Malaysian officials revealed new information that the plane was deliberately steered off course. The flight crew — including pilot Zaharie Shah — is now under immense scrutiny.

Investigators are looking into Shah's ties to a political opposition group, and a flight simulator from his Malaysia home has been confiscated.

"We are getting experts to look at it now," said a Malaysian official this weekend.

The word "hijacking" is now being floated as a possibility. For James, it's a complicated development.

"It’s going to sound ironic that a hijacking would be a good thing," he said. "But when you think in terms of not a plane crash, and there is no sign of wreckage, then you obviously have hope for a different outcome."

Philip's girlfriend in China is packed, ready to go wherever he is located.

"My son even helped me pick out which clothes to bring for him, so I have an outfit for him in my backpack," Bajc said.

Hope is what's keeping everyone going right now. James said his brother's empty desk at his new job in Malaysia is covered in origami cranes; he said they're a symbol of hope in east Asia.

"We’re not giving up hope," he said.

The hope is a deep-seated belief, rooted in faith, he will reunite with his big brother once again.

E-mail lzakalik@wfaa.com

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