"I'm missing daddy, I'm missing daddy. When's daddy coming home? Is daddy still missing?”
These are the heartbreaking words of three-year-old Lincoln Weeks to his mother, Danica, the wife of mining engineer Paul Weeks, one of 227 passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.
In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Danica revealed that she was out shopping in Perth around the time the plane is believed to have flown about 2000 kilometres off the West Australian coastline into the southern Indian Ocean.
"I was in Perth merrily going along our family way while he was crashing into the ocean,” Danica told reporter Charles Wooley, who also interviewed Amanda Lawton, the daughter of missing Brisbane passengers Cathy and Bob Lawton, and Cathy's sister, Jeanette Maguire.
"She was very, very nervous," said Jeanette. "She kept asking everybody how safe was this Malaysian Airlines, she didn't know enough about them, and we just said, 'They're great. Worldwide, state of the art.”
When Wooley asked Amanda Lawton whether her mother had an intuition that something might go wrong, she replied: "I think so. Pretty much, from November last year, she was going on about how she's been having all these bad dreams, nightmares, and we're like, 'Mum, you're just being silly, just being a worrywart'."
The Lawtons were travelling to China with Brisbane friends Rodney and Mary Burrows. Mrs Lawton was losing her eyesight and her husband had taken long service leave to take her to Malaysia and China for her birthday.
Sydney couple Yuan Li and Naijun Gu were also on Flight 370, which disappeared from air traffic control radars on March 8 as it crossed from Malaysian into Vietnamese air space.
Paul Weeks was en route to Mongolia to start a new job. "This was his dream job," Danica Weeks told 60 Minutes. “I would never stop him from doing his dream job.”
Mrs Weeks told the program that she was "sickened" by the text message Malaysia Airlines sent to passengers' family members on March 24 announcing that “we have to assume beyond reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those aboard survived”.
"I didn't handle it. (I was) just sickened, sickened that someone would actually send me a text message to say that my loved one was dead. This is my husband, my loving husband, father of my children, and you send me a text message?”
Mrs Weeks said she was consoled by the thought that her husband would have been thinking about her and his children at the end.
"So I take some comfort in that, if that's how it happened. He would have been thinking of us in his last moments."
The story MH370 search: Australian relatives of passengers open up about their loss first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.