What to Know
A Long Island family has recovered the body of their husband and father from the Chinese government
Lt. Col. Norman Easy, a National Guard veteran, died on a plane to Shanghai while on a business trip as a health care executive
China had refused to return his body unless the family signed a waiver; Easy's family said "something is off"
A Long Island family has recovered the body of their veteran husband and father from China after he mysteriously died on a flight there from New York, following weeks of fighting Chinese government red tape.
The family of retired Lt. Col. Norman Easy received his body on Saturday. Services are expected to be held this coming Friday.
On Dec. 7, Easy, a health care executive, boarded a China Eastern Airlines flight at JFK Airport and headed to Shanghai for a business trip. He traveled frequently, according to his family, but wife Nixtia panicked when the father of four didn't let her know he'd landed in China.
"He always communicates with us, and I didn't hear nothing from him," said Nixtia in an interview earlier this month.
When he didn't show up for a meeting that following Monday, his company dispatched a team to find him.
"One of the police officers who happened to be at the airport when he died [also] happened to be at the police station when the team got there," his son Marcus told News 4 New York.
What the officer told the team was devastating.
"He said that someone matching my dad's description passed away on the plane," Marcus said. "They weren't allowed to verify that it was him but they're 100 percent sure it was him."
Family members had said they were told that Easy's wife had to sign a waiver saying she doesn't object to anything in the police report — a report she said she hasn't even seen — before China would return his body.