Wednesday, March 13 2013, 10:06 AM CDT
Daughter, brother of Victor Lovelady speak with KFDM News
NEDERLAND - by Ashley Gaston - Victor Lovelady was nearly halfway done with his month-long job assignment in Algeria. He was looking forward to coming home at about the 'same time' as his daughter's birthday.
The 57 year old moved to the Houston area a few year ago. He was born in Nederland, thats where his brother and a number of family members still live.
Lovelady was working at a natural gas plant in Algeria. A militant group took over the site Wednesday.
Friday morning, the state department told the family he was alive and well. But Saturday, they received a call from the FBI telling them based on preliminary information, he was dead.
Algerian troops had moved in. The Algerian government said the militants were planning to kill the hostages and blow up the site.
In all, about three dozen hostages died. Lovelady was among three Texans killed in the standoff.
Six news anchor Ashley Gaston spoke with Lovelady's brother and daughter today in Nederland.
The family tells KFDM news Lovelady was excited to work overseas.
It was a job he had pursued for a year.
British Petroleum contracted Lovelady to inspect the plant. He was quickly promoted within his first week on the job in Algeria.
Lovelady told his family he felt safe. He lived, worked and spent his free time inside the plant. Only ten days after he arrived, the militants took over.
"I just want people to know how wonderful my dad was and how great of a dad he was. He will be missed by me, my brother and my mother very much," said Erin Lovelady.
Victor Lovelady was a family man. His daughter says he put his children first and spent a lot of time making memories with them.
"I'm daddy's little girl, and we were very close, very very close, we've always been very very close," said Lovelady.
She wishes he were here now for her to lean on.
"He always had the right things to say," said Lovelady.
Lovelady knew what to say to try to reassure his family he'd be safe in his new job in Algeria.
"We asked him all the time, do you feel safe, do you feel safe going because if you don't feel safe then you don't have to go. He said I feel safe, nothing's happened there in so long," said Lovelady.
"I can't tell you how disheartening it was. We just knew he was coming home with rest of them," said Mike Lovelady.
His brother Mike had reason to think so. The FBI told him early Friday morning, Victor was alive and well.
"I can associate my brother being in a car wreck or having cancer, but terrorism and Nederland, Texas just doesn't go together," said Mike Lovelady.
They received a call Saturday telling them Victor died. That morning, Algerian forces stormed the gas plant. Dozens of militants and hostages died.
"He asked me if anything ever happened to him to please take care of his family and I want to do that," said Mike Lovelady.
Big brother Mike will now help his niece who is trying to cope with her father's death and remember the man who meant so much to his family.
"He was so laid back and understanding. I could have told him anything. That gives me comfort," said Lovelady.
Lovelady was scheduled to work at the plant for 28 days before returning home.
He planned to be back the day after his daughter's birthday.
Relatives will set up an account to help the family.