The son of an Australian couple who were aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight says memories of his parents’ love will help his family deal with the tragedy.
Jayden Burrows read a family statement in Brisbane on Tuesday after Malaysian officials announced all 239 on board flight MH370, including his parents Rod and Mary Burrows, were believed dead in the southern Indian Ocean.
Mr Burrows, accompanied by his aunty and Rod’s sister Kaylene Mann, said his family was still trying to come to terms with the “terrible tragedy”.
“We dearly love and will miss our mum and dad,” he told reporters.
“The love and compassion that they shared and their priority of putting their family first will help us get through this together.
“We’re heartbroken this stage of their life has been cut short.
“They worked hard to reap the rewards of their retirement so they could travel and spend time with friends and family.”
Mr Burrows said his family was grateful for the support they’d received since the flight went missing more than two weeks ago.
The family was appreciative of the multi-national search effort and their thoughts and prayers were with other families braving the same ordeal, he said.
“Now we ask for privacy and we request that our wish for family solitude be respected during this extremely heart wrenching time,” he said, before leaving without answering questions.
Acting Chief Superintendent Maurice Poiner introduced the family members, saying Mary had worked with Queensland Police since 1997 and was working at the police academy.
“(She) was on long-service leave at the time of this incident,” he said.
The Burrows were holidaying with their friends, Australian couple Bob and Cathy Lawton, when they boarded the ill-fated flight.
Mr Lawton’s Queensland-based brother David did not want to speak to the media.
Meanwhile, family and friends were comforting Danica Weeks hours after she heard the news that the flight carrying her husband Paul has been confirmed lost in the Indian Ocean.
Mrs Weeks is with the couple’s two young sons in the family home in Perth’s northern suburbs, about 15 minutes drive from RAAF Base Pearce where planes looking for any signs of Flight MH370 have been taking off and landing over the past week.
Mrs Weeks’ mother, Kay Thompson, said her daughter was too distraught to talk about the official announcement that the plane had crashed.
“You can imagine how we feel,” Ms Thompson told AAP over the phone from the home.
“We have been waiting for two weeks and I guess everyone hoped for something better than this.
“But that is the way it is and we are all dreadfully sad.”
Ms Thompson had travelled from her Sunshine Coast home and she said her daughter’s friends from New Zealand and Mandurah, south of Perth, were also helping her and helping look after the boys, Lincoln, 3, and 11-month-old Jack.