The mother of one of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 wants answers but at the same time doesn't want to believe the debris found Wednesday belongs to her son's plane.
Niloufar Vaezi, of Germany wants to know what happened to her son, Pouria Nourmohammadi. She wept while speaking with NBC 7 by phone Thursday morning.
“It’s been 16 months,” she said. “I was so patient. I was so hopeful.”
Flight 370 had been traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 when it disappeared.
For weeks, an international search team scoured the southern Indian Ocean off Australia for any sign of debris.
Now, an airplane component found on the French island of Reunion off the coast of Madagascar has been identified by air safety investigators as a "flaperon" from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official said.
Vaezi is concerned her worst fear will soon be realized as investigators try and identify the source of the debris found 2,300 miles from the search area.
She's hired San Diego attorney Dan Gilleon who has filed a complaint on her behalf.
He said his client wants an authoritative figure to come in and say “’This is the black box…this is what happened.’”
If the part belongs to Flight 370, it could provide valuable clues to investigators trying to figure out what caused the aircraft to vanish in the first place, Jason Middleton, an aviation professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told the Associated Press.
The nature of the damage to the debris could help indicate whether the plane broke up in the air or when it hit the water, and how violently it did so, he said.
The barnacles attached to the part could also help marine biologists determine roughly how long it has been in the water, he said.
The part was expected to be flown over the weekend to France for investigation, officials told the Associated Press.
Three days after the flight disappeared, officials identified Nourmohammadi as one of two Iranian-born passengers who used stolen passports to board the airline.
Nourmohammadi is believed to have been traveling to Europe as an asylum seeker, Malaysian police said.