Gatlinburg native among those missing in Brussels

Published: Mar. 22, 2016 at 3:13 PM EDT
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A man from Gatlinburg and his wife, who's from Lexington, Ky., are among those missing in Belgium after this morning's attack at Brussels airport and subway.

Betty Gragg-Newsome says her sister, Carolyn Moore was in Brussels to visit her daughter and son-in-law Stephanie and Justin Shults.

Shults graduated Gatlinburg-Pittman in 2004, and then attended Vanderbilt University. He was a valedictorian for his class, and was well liked, according to his former high school counselor.

"He was a tall, lean young man and he was easy to spot in the hallways. And when you would spot him, he had a smile on his face," said Gatlinburg-Pittman High School counselor, Kristi Cantrell.

Shults and his wife have lived in Brussels for nearly two years, working as accountants.

Local 8 News spoke with Levi Sutton, Shults' brother.

"We just really need prayers right now," he said.

Shults' mother last heard from the state department at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Stephanie and Justin Shults are not listed among those who died in the blasts.

Shults' uncle, Dale Branam, said the family is having a tough time dealing with not knowing what has happened to Justin and Stephanie.

"I found out the news this morning and couldn't quit crying," Branam said.

Gragg-Newsome tells us that 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.

Moore is accounted for, but the family has not heard from Stephanie and Justin Shults.

Gragg-Newsome says her niece, Stephanie Shults, is a graduate of Bryan Station High School and Transylvania University. She says Stephanie Shults had received her masters degree at Vanderbilt and had recently moved to Brussels for work.

Lexington Mayor, Jim Gray, tweeted out this: "We join those praying for victims of this tragedy, including Lexington's Stephanie Shultz & her husband, Justin, both missing in Belgium. "

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.