MH370 families seek $5 million for investigation, ‘whistle blower’ reward

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(CNN) — Three months to the day after a Malaysian jetliner vanished, relatives of those aboard are set to launch an effort Sunday to raise $5 million for investigations and a “whistle blower” reward.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

A multinational effort to scour the choppy waters of the southern Indian Ocean has turned up no signs of the jetliner.

After weeks of grueling underwater searches, authorities said the four acoustic pings used to narrow down the location are no longer believed to be from the plane’s onboard data or cockpit voice recorders. The underwater search was postponed in late May.

But relatives demanded answers, prompting the Reward MH370 fundraiser. It is expected to launch on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo.

“This mystery is unprecedented in the history of aviation, and we need to work as a collective community with one goal of finding the truth, the plane and the passengers,” said Ethan Hunt, the project leader.

He said someone knows where the plane is, and the money will be an incentive for that person to come forward.

“Utilizing the immense potential of the crowd, we believe we can achieve our primary goal of recovering the flight where others methods have failed,” Hunt said.

A global investigation firm will follow up on credible leads and work with authorities to find the plane, he said.

The plane disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and is believed to have turned around and flown over the Indian Ocean west of Australia, where officials say it crashed.

The search area was narrowed down using pings detected near an arc where an Inmarsat satellite last communicated with the plane.

With no tangible evidence found by an underwater drone, which costs an estimated $40,000 a day to operate, search officials regrouped.

Australia said it will negotiate with private companies to conduct the next phase of the search. The next stage of the underwater search is not expected to start until at least late July or August.

By Faith Karimi and Saima Mohsin

CNN’s David Molko and Holly Yan contributed to this report.