Family of Missing Malaysia Airlines Steward Holds Out Hope

By Jaime Lutz

Mar 22, 2014 10:36am

The mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 took another turn Saturday after the Chinese government released satellite pictures showing a floating object in the southern Indian Ocean about 74 feet long and 43 feet wide.

If the debris belonged to the plane, it signals that the plane likely crashed in the ocean. But the wife and four children of Patrick Gomes, the chief steward on the missing jet, are holding out hope.

“If it’s in the ocean, it brings us closure, but at the back of our mind we hope,” said his wife, Jacquita Gonzales. “You know, they say it’s a hijacking, you know that it’s somewhere, then there’s hope that he’s still alive and he will come back to us. But if it’s in the ocean, it’s final, you know. He comes back in a different way, which is still what we want.”

Gonzales said Patrick’s 2-year-old grandson, Rafael, thinks that his grandfather is away at work.

Anger has been bubbling among the families of the passengers in the past week. At a recent news conference, a mother who protested the handling of the crash was dragged away into a separate room.

“They whisked her away. You don’t lead out a grieving woman,” said Nikki Gomes, a daughter of Patrick Gomes. “The look on the police faces [sic] – the way they dragged her out of the room.”

Undeterred, the family has kept a candle burning in Patrick Gomes’ bedroom so his soul can find its way home.

“My cousin just said that God has plans for all of us,” Gonzales said. “So maybe God has a good plan – they needed Patrick up there to fly one his aircrafts in heaven, you know, or cook him a good meal.”

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