LEBANON, Ohio – A Warren County man is mourning three relatives who were on Malaysia Flight 370, while another marvels at how close his nephew came to piloting the missing plane.
Fendy Yahya said his nephew, Mat Budi, was supposed to fly the Boeing 777 back to Malaysia once it landed in Beijing on March 8.
Of course, Flight 370 never reached the Chinese capital.
"My cell phone was bombarded with messages from my friends and family and I happened to look and everybody was asking about my nephew," Yahya said.
"After reading so many messages, I found out that he was in Beijing - stranded in Beijing, actually - and he was scheduled actually to fly that flight back to Malaysia."
Yahya lost friends on that flight – friends he met in Florida when he first came to the United States.
He displayed a photo from a party in Florida. Pictured was a woman who served as a social hub for Malaysians who lived there.
She and her two daughters were on Flight 370, Yahya said.
"I just couldn't imagine being on that flight (with) what these people were going through," Yahya said. "There are so many theories out there saying this and this, but nobody knows, so I feel really bad for the families especially. They been waiting a long time looking for answers."
Another Warren County man, Azwan Mattaridi, had three cousins on Flight 370. Weeks of holding out hope they might be alive came to an end Monday.
"You can't change it. No amount of grief or anything can change it. All you've got is family, and at times like this is when I feel really far away," Mattaradi said.