Utah woman empathizes with families of Flight 370 victims

LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A Layton woman knows the heartbreak of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 families first hand. Cherrie Stanger, 47, lost her live-in boyfriend Jeff Platz in a fiery Singapore Airlines crash in Taiwan on October 31, 2000.

His body was burned beyond recognition and he had to be identified through DNA.

"You go into the mortuary and I gave clothes to the mortuary guy and he goes uh I don't think I can put these on there and you sit there like I'm not going to be able to see him? Like I don't have anything?" Stanger told ABC4 Utah. "You get a casket and flowers. That's all you get."

Because she didn't actually see Jeff's body, some part of her could not accept the fact that he was gone.

"I used to have dreams that Jeff was climbing into bed with me," Stanger said. "I could like feel the bed dip and him trying to console me you know as I'm crying. I would have to have dreams of me telling him No - you're dead. I have proof that you're dead. You have to go to heaven. It's OK."

Stanger says the worst part for the families of Malaysian Flight 370 passengers is the uncertainty.

"They have no proof of a plane wreck and now they're supposed to bury their families?" Stanger asked "How do you do that?"

Stanger says the relatives of the victims are in for a long, emotional road and they may never get the closure they so desperately need.

"Tragic accidents where you don't get to say goodbye to that human being or know that's where that person really is, I don't think you get closure," Stanger said, holding back tears. "I think you're just going through the motions because still to this day I see the flowers and the casket but I don't get to see Jeff."

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