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Philip Wood, IBM Executive of Texas, Among the Missing Passenger on Malaysia Flight: He is a 'Man of God', Family Says

Mar 09, 2014 06:04 PM EDT

The Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 - which had two passengers using stolen passports- disappeared since Friday evening while carrying 239 people, including three U.S. citizens: Philip Wood, 51, Nicole Meng, 4, and Yan Zhang, 2.

Philip Wood, who previously lived in Beijing, has two sons in Texas. He had followed in his father's footsteps when he joined IBM, from which his father retired at the end of his career.

Wood's family released a statement Saturday evening describing him as "a man of God, a man of honor and integrity."

"His word was gold, incredibly generous, creative, and intelligent, Phil cared about people, his family, and above all, Christ." the statement said.

"I know in my heart that Philip's with God," said Sandra Wood of her son Philip Wood. She said she is getting through the trauma. "Only people who know God can survive things like this."

"Though our hearts are hurting, we know so many families around the world are affected just as much as us by this terrible tragedy," the family statement read. "We ask for your prayers, not only for ourselves, but for all involved during this difficult time. As a family, we are sticking together through Christ to get through this."

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Wood was based in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. "We're relying on our Lord," said Aubrey Wood, father of the missing passenger. "He's the one who carries the load. We're all sticking together. What can you do? What can you say?"

Wood's ex-wife, Elaine, originally from the Bronx, described him in a Facebook post as "a wonderful man."

Philip Wood attended at Munich international School, and graduated from Oklahoma Christian University; he had been working with IBM Corp in Malaysia since March, 2011, at first as their Technical Sales Executive, he was named Technical Storage executive in January.

Officials in Italy and Austria confirmed Saturday that the names of two passengers on the flight manifest matched passports reported stolen in Thailand. The Italian passport was swiped 18 months ago, while the Austrian travel document disappeared two years ago, officials said.

Flight MH370 is remained unaccounted for on Sunday, many hours after it should have landed at dawn in Beijing with 239 people on board, most of them from China.

Passengers also include a group of as many as 24 painters and calligraphers who were returning from an exhibition and a cultural exchange conference in Kuala Lumpur. The conference was dedicated to the "Chinese Dream" and intended to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia.

The missing Malaysia Airlines plane has another Texas connection. Twenty employees of an Austin, Tex.-based tech firm were also aboard the flight. Twelve of the Freescale Semiconductor employees are from Malaysia and eight from China, company officials said.

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