The grieving family of offshore worker Stephen Anderson, 44, still have no idea where his body is – six weeks after the Malaysian Airlines jet was brought down.
The former RAF search and rescue crewman was one of 298 passengers, including ten Britons, and crew who were killed on
Mr Anderson’s funeral has been postponed until his family can bring home his remains, which they believe were recovered from the crash scene.
But officials are still unable to give his loved ones any more information.
His 65-year-old mother Rosalind said: “We don’t know anything, we can’t make arrangements. We are just waiting for updates all the time.”
Mr Anderson’s younger brother Kevin said: “It is one of those things you think will never happen to you, but it has.
“He was such a popular fellow, pretty much everyone knew him and he and [wife] Joanna loved socialising there.
“He was always easygoing and smiling – nothing was ever a hassle. We will miss him terribly.”
Mr Anderson grew up in Inverness and spent a decade of his 23-year RAF career at RAF Lossiemouth.
His daughter, Jordan, still lives in the Moray town with his first wife, while his parents Leslie and Rosalind live in Daviot, near Inverness. He and his second wife, Joanna, lived in Malaysia.
A family friend, who did not wish to be named, said: “They’re going through hell.
“To lose Stephen was bad enough but now they don’t know when or if they’ll get him home. The agony is piling on them. It’s heartbreaking.”
After leaving the RAF, Mr Anderson became a hydraulic technician with Danish giant Maersk.
He was flying home to Penang when the plane was downed as it passed over the Ukraine-Russia border.
An international investigation into what caused the crash is being led by the Dutch authorities, as the flight left from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and two-thirds of the people on board were from the Netherlands.
Western politicians believe a Russian surface-to-air missile was fired at the jet. The rebels and Russia blame the Ukrainian military.
Last week, it was revealed forensics teams from the Netherlands said they have so far positively identified 173 victims of flight MH17.
They say they are unable to use dental records or fingerprints to identify more than 100 remaining victims and will have to rely solely on DNA.
Fighting near the crash site hampered efforts to collect the victims’ bodies.