American on Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet 'Was a Wonderful Man,' Ex-Wife Says

03/08/2014 at 05:05 PM EST

Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet: American Flier 'Was a Wonderful Man' Says Ex-Wife
A Malaysia Airlines plane
Xinhua/ZUMA
As searchers scoured the Gulf of Thailand for the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing on Friday, the family of Philip Wood, the only adult American on board, released a statement about the Texas native.

"Philip Wood was a wonderful man," his ex-wife Elaine, who lives in Keller, Texas, said. "Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now."

Wood, 50, who worked as a technical storage executive for IBM in Malaysia, was one of 227 passengers and 12 crew traveling on Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

His family members said they had little information beyond the news reports.

"We’re relying on our Lord," his father, Aubrey, also of Keller, tells the New York Times. "He's the one who carries the load."

The Boeing 777-200 dropped off the radar at 1:30 on Saturday morning while flying across the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam. Several countries, including the U.S., have sent vessels and aircraft to assist in the search efforts, but apart from a 12-mile-long oil slick on the surface of the Gulf of Thailand, no wreckage has been found, The New York Times reports.

Two of the passengers were reportedly traveling on stolen passports, and a senior American intelligence official said that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were investigating, but so far had no leads.

"At this time, we have not identified this as an act of terrorism," said the official, who declined to be identified because of the continuing investigation. "While the stolen passports are interesting, they don't necessarily say to us that this was a terrorism act."

Reporting by HOWARD BREUER

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