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Mom Lockerbie bombing: Search for son ends in heartbreak

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A mom from Oregon searching for the son she gave up for adoption 45 years ago was devastated to learn that her son died in the Lockerbie bombing 25 years ago, the Raw Story reported Monday.

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The tragic irony of a mom who finally found her son only to find out that he died in an infamous terrorist attack, is generating much sympathy on the Internet, with a number of people posting the story on social media with messages of sympathy for the mother.

The mom, Carol King-Eckersley, 65, first began looking for her son after her husband’s death last year. But that search ended in heartache when she learned he died with 270 others in the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

"270 people died in that tragedy and one of those happened to be the only child I ever had. And I didn't even know it until last April," mom King-Eckersley told BBC News. "So it became a kind of double tragedy. I found him and I lost him on the same day."

King-Eckersley says she gave up the boy for adoption when she was 19. She says she gave up the baby to protect the reputation of the boy’s father, not her own.

“I'm just starting to get to know him," said King-Eckersley. "In a way I'm going backwards because the getting to know him makes it sharper, makes the regret deeper."

Her son, Kenneth Bissett, was student at Cornel University who was participating in a study-abroad program in London. He was going to fly back a few days earlier but decided to stay in London long enough to celebrate his 21st birthday with friends in London.

The Lockerbie crash happened on Dec. 21, 1988. The flight was headed from London to New York. A total of 243 passengers, 16 crew, and 11 people on the ground were killed.

"I'm still in the semi-numb part after you lose a loved one," said the mother King-Eckersley. "Even though I didn't have him with me physically he was always in my heart. I thought of him pretty much every day."

She expressed sympathy for the devastation her adopted parents, Florence and John must have felt.

"I saw a baby picture for the first time the other day,” King-Eckersley said. “I had never seen him except for wrapped up in a yellow blanket on the day we left hospital and the attorney was taking him to his new parents."

Libya, under the leadership of Col Muammar Gaddafi, took responsibility for the bombing ten years ago. No one is certain of a motive But most believe it was retaliation for a Navy warship, which shot down an Iranian passenger airplane when it mistook it for an F-14 fighter jet.

The bomb was put in a suitcase by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines and an alleged intelligence officer.
He was convicted of 270 counts of murder and got a life sentence but was released last year after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He was given three months to live but lived almost three years.

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