The Algerians initially moved in on Thursday after concluding the militants planned to blow up the gas installation and flee to Mali with the foreigners as hostages. The incursion succeeded in freeing some hostages -- but not all -- and several of them died.
Lovelady survived Thursday's raid. And if his family knew him at all, he was likely biding his time, coolly trying to find a way to help himself and others out of the unthinkable predicament they found themselves in.
'We felt in our hearts that he was coming home'
"He wouldn't be the person who is crying and screaming and begging," Erin Lovelady said. And after the initial exhilarating news, the family felt sure he would pull through.
"We all believed, we felt in our hearts that he was coming home," his daughter said.
But then, on Saturday, Algerian special forces backed by helicopter gunships raided the plant for a second time. They finished off the militants but were unable to save the remaining hostages. Militants may have executed them, Mike Lovelady said he'd been told.
The news, Erin Lovelady said, was "devastating."
Mike Lovelady said he's angry with the terrorists who took the compound his brother thought was safe, resulting in the deaths of people who had traveled there merely to make a better living for their families. But he said things maybe could have been different had Algeria allowed U.S. or British special operations forces to take over.
Maybe, Mike Lovelady said, the U.S. Navy SEALs or Britain's Special Air Service commandos could have taken out the militants while sparing the hostages.
"We all feel it could have been handled differently," he said.
However, Algeria's Interior Ministry said security forces were compelled to intervene quickly "to avoid a bloody turning point of events in this extremely dangerous situation." Officials said Monday that had the terrorists succeeded in blowing up the plant, it would have caused death and destruction in a 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) radius.
On Tuesday, U.S. officials reiterated their support for Algerian officials.
"The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
As the family awaits the return of Lovelady's body, and more answers about how he died, Mike Lovelady said he's determined not to let his brother's legacy die with him.
He said he intends to press Congress to keep up the fight against terrorism.
"I'll be angry for a long time," he said.