Justin Shults, 30, an American who went missing after the Brussels airport attack, has been confirmed dead, according to his employer. The whereabouts of his wife, Stephanie Shults, is still unknown.
A statement released by Clarcor, the company Justin Shults worked for and was expatriated to Brussels with, confirmed that the Tennessee native had died during the explosion.
“We have learned today that Justin Shults died in the bombing at Brussels Airport. We grieve with his family and continue to offer our support as they mourn this unimaginable loss. Justin has been an integral member of our global finance team since May of 2012 and he has lived with his wife, Stephanie, in Brussels since 2014. 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.
— WKYT (@WKYT) March 26, 2016
Clarcor also confirmed that the whereabouts of Stephanie Shults, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, are still unknown.
“We do not have news yet about Justin’s wife, Stephanie, and ask that you keep her and her family in your prayers.”
According to NBC News, the couple was at the airport that morning to send off Stephanie’s mother, Carolyn Moore, after a visit.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 26, 2016
Moore was reportedly “knocked down by the blast” and sustained injuries to her ears, which affected her hearing, sister Betty Newsom told People magazine on Wednesday.
“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 doesn’t know if they stayed in the airport or if they got up and moved to somewhere else.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 26, 2016
On Saturday, Justin Shults’ half brother, Levi Sutton, tweeted under the Twitter handle @PopcornSutton that Stephanie Shults’ car was found at the Brussels airport.
Calling his brother a “tremendous role model,” Sutton asked for prayers for their mother in the wake of the news.
“We found out today that cowards took my brother’s life just weeks after his 30th birthday. I was blessed to have Justin as a big brother. He was smart and kind and generous. I never met a single person that didn’t like him. He worked hard his whole life and achieved goals that most could only dream about. He traveled the world leaving each destination better than when he arrived. 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.”
Just got off the phone w Justin Shults brother. Stephanie and Justin have been found, extent of injuries unknown pic.twitter.com/R1CnnLgZNb
— Emily Maher (@WLKYEmily) March 23, 2016
The state of Kentucky, Stephanie’s home state, has been following the news closely and Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted that he is “heartbroken by the news.”
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray also tweeted that he was “devastated” by the news.
We are devastated to learn of the death of Justin Schults in Belgium. We continue to pray & hold onto hope for his wife Stephanie.
— Mayor Jim Gray (@JimGrayLexKY) March 26, 2016
The couple, who have lived in Belgium since 2014, went missing Tuesday when Islamic State terrorists attacked the Brussels airport.
Even more devastating for the family is that they were notified soon after the Brussels bombings by a state department spokesperson that claimed the couple had been found. That claim turned out to be false information.
BREAKING: Justin and Stephanie Shults have been found, acc to family. They appeared on an injured list in Brussels pic.twitter.com/GCMziSAQcd
— Rebecca Schleicher (@NC5_RSchleicher) March 23, 2016
While Stephanie apparently remains missing, multiple Americans have now been confirmed dead from the bombings, including siblings Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski.
[Image via Facebook/Sheila Branam Shell]