Lexington native, husband among those missing in Brussels

Published: Mar. 23, 2016 at 5:55 PM EDT
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Coworkers of a Lexington native who is missing in Brussels are now searching hospitals, trying to find her.

Family members tell WKYT Stephanie Shults, 29, and her husband Justin, 30, haven't been seen since Tuesday morning's attack at Brussels airport and subway.

"The not knowing is the worst. Now it's been over 30 hours since anyone had any contact with them, so that's obviously frightening but you just got to try to stay positive." said Levi Sutton, Justin's brother-in-law.

He says they are hoping the next phone call that comes in will be the call to bring word that they are okay.

Betty Newsom says her sister, Carolyn Moore, was in Brussels to visit her daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Justin Shults, who works for CLARCOR Inc. in the Brussels area.

Newsom said Moore had just spent a week with her daughter and was at the airport to catch her flight home at Brussels airport when the attacks occurred. She says Moore was knocked off of her feet, but did not suffer any serious injuries.

Newsom says her sister had not been able to reach Stephanie and Justin Shults since the explosion.

"We were hoping to hear something immediately that Stephanie and Justin had gotten to their car, or had gotten home, or had somehow gotten out of that airport," Newsom said.

Stephanie is a graduate of Bryan Station High School and Transylvania University, according to her aunt. She says Stephanie had received her master's degree at Vanderbilt and had recently moved to Brussels for work.

Newsom says Stephanie works for Mars, Inc. in Brussels. The couple moved there in June of 2014.

Multiple Nashville stations have reported that Justin's brother has said that the State Department has told their family that Justin and Stephanie are not on the list of known casualties.

Newsom said family members spent the day watching news coverage of the Brussels attacks, searching faces in the crowd, looking for any sign of Stephanie and Justin.

Newsom said family members are trying to stay positive and have faith as they wait for word about Stephanie and Justin.

"We love Stephanie and Justin and Carolyn, and are praying that we can get them back to Kentucky and Tennessee - quickly," she said.

WKYT has contacted the office of Congressman Andy Barr who issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"We are aware of this situation and our office has contacted the State Department in an effort to account for the couple and reconnect them with their family. We have no other information at this time, but we are committed to doing everything possible to help them find their loved ones."

At least 25 people were believed to have been killed in what appeared to be a pair of brazen terrorist attacks in the city which has remained on high alert since the Paris attacks.

A U.S. official told CBS News that at least 11 people were killed and dozens injured in the blasts in the departure hall at Brussels Airport.