As It Happens

Mother whose son died on flight MH17: 'Now we know for sure'

Silene Fredriksz's son Bryce and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers were killed on MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Criminal investigators now say the plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile originating in Russia.
Silene Fredriksz, left, in front of a photograph of her son Bryce, right, and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)

Dutch investigators say they now have irrefutable proof about what brought down a Malaysian passenger jet in 2014.

Criminal investigators said Wednesday that a surface-to-air missile was brought into Ukraine from Russia and returned there after the plane was downed.

Russian officials were quick to question the findings.

 "We still miss the children very, very much. And the pain and the grief is still there. But as a family we want to know what happened."- Silene Fredriksz, whose son died on MH17

Silene Fredriksz's son Bryce and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers were killed on MH17. She spoke with As it Happens host Carol Off from Rotterdam. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

Carol Off: Silene, how did you feel today to finally hear the results of this investigation into your son's death?

Silene Fredriksz: Finally, a confirmation of what we've been thinking for months — actually years. But we needed to hear that from the officials.

CO: Was there anything you heard that was new?

We're not sure yet who pushed the buttons — Russians or separatists — but at least now we know, for sure, that the Buk [missile] came from Russia.- Silene Fredriksz

SF: Not really new. Because we had a lot of things . . . in the media and on the Internet that we couldn't verify — phone calls, etcetera  — were authentic. And that was made clear today, that those were real conversations by phone, by separatists and Russians. And that was very important to know.

CO: There was some very important research and material they've collected over these months that show that the missile system that shot down MH17 was from Russia and was returned there right after. What is the significance of that particular revelation?

SF: Well, we're not sure yet who pushed the buttons — Russians or separatists — but at least now we know, for sure, that the Buk [missile] came from Russia.

CO: And that it did come from the ground, it wasn't anything that was shot by another aircraft, or in the air.

SF: Yes.

CO: Does this change anything, to hear this?

Sometimes I go in [my son's room], have a talk [with] them. And it still looks like they can come back.- Silene   Fredriksz

SF: No. It doesn't change anything. Our lives are broken. We live in a nightmare since the 17th of July 2014. And that doesn't change a bit. We still miss the children very, very much. And the pain and the grief is still there. But as a family we want to know what happened — who did it, why, and what happened exactly.

CO: Your son, Bryce, and his girlfriend, Daisy, were on a trip when they were on that plane. Where were they going?

SF: They were going to Bali. Daisy's mother died two-and-a-half months before. And they wanted to go on holiday to have a little bit of a good time, after all the pain and the grief she still was going through . . . They were very excited. Bryce has been to Indonesia several times with us because my husband was born in Indonesia. And he was very excited to show Daisy his country.

CO: You spoke in another interview that you have kept your son's room exactly as it was when he left. Is that still the case?

SF: Still. Yeah. Sometimes I go in there, have a talk [with] them. And it still looks like they can come back. The night before at 10 o'clock they started packing and they just left a mess. And I wanted to clean it up the next morning. But I didn't. And I'm glad I didn't.

To hear more on this story, listen to our full interview with Silene Fredriksz.

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