Family members of Dexter Brewer gathered at Million Air aviation terminal Tuesday morning, clinging to hope that their loved one would be found alive.
Brewer was a passenger aboard a small plane that left Gulfport shortly after noon on Monday, heading for a business meeting in South Carolina.
The plane never made it.
“When I got the news the plane had not landed, I got on the phone with several people at RMR Mechanical, which is the company that my father works for,” said Jared Brewer, the 33-year old son of Dexter Brewer.
His father was on the plane with two other people -- the pilot and one of the owners of the company, said Jared Brewer.
According to the Coast Guard, the two men with Dexter Brewer were Gerald Miletello, the vice president of RMR Mechanical, and Ron Gregory.
None of the men have been found yet.
Jared Brewer spoke with WLOX News as family and friends gathered awaiting news about their loved one’s whereabouts.
“I’m just waiting for news and I really thank everyone that’s been involved in the search effort,” said Jared Brewer. “You don’t know how much that means to me to have so many people that care about you and that are looking for him.”
Dexter Brewer’s wife, Tina Cook, said she was trying to stay strong, despite longing for answers about her missing spouse.
A small group of family and friends provided comfort to each other, as they waited for any word.
“I’ve got tons of family and friends here with me today,” said Jared Brewer. “I’ve got a great support system. I haven’t lost hope. I’m still hoping that my father will be found, alive.”
Dexter Brewer, who lived in Saucier, has worked the past eight years for RMR Mechanical, a company based in Cumming, GA. Before that, he spent 25 years employed by Georgia-Pacific.
His business made him a “frequent flier” and he often traveled the country to various paper mills and chemical plants in his job as a project manager.
“He works on the road, mostly. He does bids,” explained Jared Brewer. “He’s a project manager for RMR Mechanical. He does a lot of traveling with that business to different types of mills for shutdown purposes, when a plant shuts down.”
“That takes him to a lot of different areas. He travels to New York, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, where he was supposed to go today.”
Shortly after ten o’clock Tuesday morning, the family’s hope was tested when they received news from media websites that plane wreckage had been found on a Jackson County beach.
Amidst many tears and hugs, family members and friends leaned on one another for strength and comfort.
A short time later, they headed to Jackson County for a private briefing before a press conference was held by the Coast Guard and other authorities involved in the search.