SOUTH PARK (KDKA) – There were only a handful of Americans on the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing Saturday, but a local woman was one of them.

Mei Ling Chng moved into her South Park neighborhood a few months ago.

Most neighbors say they didn’t know her, only saw her in passing because the winter months have been so cold.

But those who do know her say just hearing she was on board was chilling.

“I followed the story since it hit obviously, I watch the news and I had heard about it and you pray for the people on the plane and their families,” Valerie Shafer said.

Shafer sold Chng the house a few months ago and took a liking to the young, independent woman, who was in the area, with no family, but building a life of her own.

“I held her up as an example for my own daughter, who graduates from Pitt next month,” Shafer said. “You know, after the home transaction, I mentioned to my daughter, ‘Do you see how young she is? But she is independent.'”

The world has to process the unanswered questions about how a Boeing 777 aircraft can just disappear with, so far, little trace.

But those who have connections, person connections to the people on board, have a lot more to process, understand and try to come to terms with.

“She was always very warm and very — just a nice person, very sweet, soft-spoken individual,” Shafer said.

Chng, according to those who knew her, did have several close colleagues at her job. Non were available for comment on their co-worker though.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland