American couple confirmed dead after Brussels attacks

American couple confirmed dead after Brussels attacks

Brussels — Update - March 27, 3:39 p.m.

An American couple who went missing after the deadly terror attacks in Brussels were confirmed dead Saturday.

“We found out today that cowards took my brother’s life just weeks after his 30th birthday,” Justin Shults’ brother, Levi Sutton, wrote on Twitter hours before Stephanie’s death was confirmed.

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“Stephanie was always so happy,” Sutton said later. “I really enjoyed any chance I got to be around her. The world lost two amazing people today. It's not fair.”

The couple’s parents traveled to the Brussels in the wake of the attacks and searched for four days in hopes of finding their missing children.

"Justin has been wanting me to come to Brussels and see him but this is not the way that I wanted to go see him," his mother, Sheila Shell, told CBS News Thursday. "One minute, they were there and then they weren't and we've been searching and looking for them ever since."

"He was smart, kind and generous. I never met a single person that didn't like him," Sutton said of his brother. "Knowing that I'll never be able to see him again hurts but it's worse that my future children will never get to know their uncle Justin as he would've been a tremendous role model."

Justin Shults worked for Clarcor filtration company, and Stephanie Shults worked for Mars Inc. Both were accountants.

“We grieve with his family and continue to offer our support as they mourn this unimaginable loss,” Clarcor said in a statement. “He will be remembered by his CLARCOR community as an intelligent, kind and loyal friend and employee. Justin will be greatly missed by those who knew him.”

"Today we learned from Stephanie's family that she and her husband, Justin, were among those killed in the attack on the Brussels airport," Mars Inc. said in a statement to WKYT. "We are mourning the loss of our colleague and friend. Our hearts and thoughts are with their families, and with all those who are suffering during this terrible time."

Stephanie was originally from Lexington, Kentucky, and Justin was from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They graduated together from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management.

President Barack Obama called the Shults' families and the families of the other American victims Sunday to offer his condolences.

Update - March 23, 7:09 p.m.

An American couple that was reported missing in Brussels in the wake of terror attacks was still missing Wednesday, despite an erroneous report that they might have been found.

Justin Shults, 30, and Stephanie Shults, 29, had just dropped Stephanie's mother, Carolyn Moore, off at Brussels Airport when two bombs detonated, killing multiple people.

"Her mom is fine but no one has been able to contact Justin or Stephanie," Justin's brother, Levi Sutton, told NBC News.

"She doesn't know if Justin and Stephanie watched her as she headed towards security or if they turned to leave the terminal," Moore's sister, Betty Newsom, told WLEX. "We don't know for sure if (they) had been able to get out of the airport or if they were still in the airport."

Sutton said the Shults have not been listed on any casualty reports and both their cellphones have been going straight to voicemail. 
The couple, both accountants, moved to Brussels in 2014.

"All they can really do is go from hospital to hospital looking at the list of people that have been identified as injured," Newsom said. She said Moore is "of course very frightened and very worried about her daughter."

"The situation is still fluid, but we are working with local authorities to locate and assist any U.S. citizens affected by the attacks," said State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala. Right now, she says there are "no updates."

At least eight Americans were injured in the attacks, including three Mormon missionaries.

Here's to my old Kentucky home! Happy Derby Day from Belgium!!

Posted by Stephanie Moore Shults on Saturday, May 2, 2015