A mom from Oregon who searched for the son she gave up for adoption 45 years ago was heartbroken to learn that her son died in the Lockerbie bombing 25 years ago, the BBC is reporting.
The mother, Carol King-Eckersley, 65, first began looking for her son after her husband’s death last year. But that search ended in sadness 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. "It became a kind of double tragedy. I found him and I lost him on the same day."
The Mom says she gave up the boy for adoption when she was 19. King-Eckersley 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 a student at Cornel University who was in a study-abroad program in London. He was supposed 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 bombing happened on Dec. 21, 1988. The flight was headed from London to New York's JFK airport. A total of 243 passengers, 16 crew were killed in addition, 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."
The bomb was put in a suitcase by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines and an he allegedly was an intelligence officer.
He was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing 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 went on to live almost three years, infuriating many victims' relatives.