Family Members Await Word on the Fate of an American Couple Missing Following Belgium Airport Blasts
Justin and Stephanie Shults were outside of the airport's departures hall when two bombs exploded on Tuesday
Family and friends of Stephanie and Justin Shults are frantically waiting for any sign of the couple who have not been heard from since the deadly terrorist attacks in Belgium Tuesday.
Family members said that Stephanie, 29, and Justin, 30, had dropped off Stephanie’s mother, Carolyn Moore, at Brussels’ Zaventem airport when two explosions went off, killing 14 and injuring dozens more.
Moore’s sister, Betty Newsom, tells PEOPLE that Moore saw the couple just minutes before the blasts.
“She and Justin and Stephanie were in the terminal. She was headed to security. Justin and Stephanie were sitting in chairs watching her walk toward the security when she saw them last,” she says. “She doesn’t know if they stayed in the airport or if they got up and moved to somewhere else.”
Newsom says Moore has yet to receive confirmation that her daughter and son-in-law have been located, and she is currently “sitting in a hotel somewhere in Brussels” recovering from the blast.
“Carolyn was knocked down by the blast and they discovered she has some injuries to her hearing. She has two holes in her ear. She can’t hear,” Newsom tells PEOPLE. “They are taking care of her. She was in the bomb blast so they have checked her out. They have collected anybody who was at the airport that didn’t have anyplace else to go and took them to a hotel. It is quite the cornucopia of people in the hotel.”
The family seemingly had a glimmer of hope Wednesday afternoon when Justin’s brother, Levi Sutton, tweeted that the “State department just told my mom justin&steph were found. We do not know the severity of their injuries or what hospital they’re at.” However, per NBC News, he later revealed that the information was incorrect.
Sutton previously told NBC News that neither Justin nor Stephanie were on the State Department’s initial casualty list from either the airport or metro station bombings.
Know Right Now: Brussels Still Under Highest Terror Alert
Newsom tells PEOPLE Stephanie’s father is flying into Amsterdam and will drive into Brussels.
Stephanie, originally from Lexington, Kentucky, and Justin, of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, relocated to Brussels in 2014, where they both work as accountants, according to NBC. Newsom says Stephanie works for the Mars company.
The Shults aren’t the only Americans missing over 24 hours after the coordinated attacks that killed 34.
Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski, a sister and brother from New York, were preparing to fly back to the United States on Tuesday morning when the blast went off in the airport departures hall. Friends and family members are still frantically searching for the siblings.
So far, authorities have identified two suicide bombers in the attacks as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, the AP reports.
Meanwhile, Newsom says her sister continues to wait – and worry.
“She hasn’t really talked about the bomb explosion. She hasn’t talked about how she feels,” she says. “She hasn’t talked about anything except getting a shower and finding her daughter.”
• Reporting by CHRISTINE PELISEK