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DENVER - A Denver man is mourning the loss of his cousin, a passenger on Malaysian Airlines flight 17.
The Boeing 777 was flying at a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over Eastern Ukraine on Thursday. There are no reports of survivors.
Taj Nahar received word from relatives that his Dutch cousin, Daisy Oehlers, was a passenger on the ill-fated flight.
"She was full of life, she was full of joy. She was a young, vibrant young lady," said Nahar.
Nahar connected with his long lost relative on Facebook. Even though they had never met in person, he feels he knew her well.
"We got reconnected through Facebook. She reached out to me. We started as long lost family, but had a family bond," said Nahar.
It was a growing relationship that ended in disaster.
Oehlers and her boyfriend, Bryce Fredriksz, were traveling to Thailand when the plane went down -- her first vacation since the loss of her mother.
"I was shocked. I'm still shocked and saddened and trembling a little bit -- definitely angry. No one deserved to pass away like this, especially under these circumstances," said Nahar.
His sadness extends to everyone onboard the aircraft.
"There were over 250 other innocent people on that flight that were at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Nahar. "There's no other way to take it, other than we're deeply saddened. We're just going to be strong as family work through this."
At an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. pointed blame at Russian-speaking separatists, saying Washington believes the jetliner carrying 298 people, including 80 children, likely was downed by an SA-11 missile, and "we cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel," the Associated Press reported.
President Barack Obama announced Friday that there was at least one American citizen on the flight when it was shot down. The man's name was Quinn Lucas Schansman. The State Department said Schansman is a U.S.-Dutch citizen, according to ABC News.