March 19, 2014 08:00 AM

When they boarded Malaysia Flight 370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the early morning hours of March 8, passengers were expected to land that same day in Beijing.

Heartbreakingly, the family and friends of the 239 people onboard are still waiting to hear about their loved ones. Where are they? What happened? Where is the plane now?

In this week’s cover story, PEOPLE shares intimate details from families waiting for word, new photographs of the missing and details on the pilots.

From New Zealander Paul Weeks, who was heading to his dream job after kissing his wife Danica and two young sons goodbye, to Muktesh Mukherjee and Xiamo Bai, who were returning home to their children after a romantic getaway, the stories of those who disappeared without a trace are told by those closest to them.

“Each night I say goodnight to your soul on the pillow next to me,” Phillip Wood’s girlfriend, Sarah Bajc, posted on Facebook. “Can you hear me? Please please please come home baby.” Woods, who moved to China for his job at IBM in 2011, was the only adult American on board.

For much more on the passengers of Flight 370 and stories from their families and friends, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

RELATED: American on Missing Airlines Jet ‘Was a Wonderful Man,’ Ex-Wife Says

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