Fayette County

Lexington native among missing after Brussels attack

Justin and Stephanie Shults
Justin and Stephanie Shults Facebook

A Lexington native is among the missing after the attacks Tuesday morning in Brussels, Belgium.

Stephanie Shults, 29, a graduate of Bryan Station High School and Transylvania University, and her husband, Justin, 30, have been missing since two explosions in the departure area of the Brussels airport, said Stephanie’s aunt, Betty Newsom of Lexington.

Newsom’s sister, Carolyn Moore, was in the airport, preparing to leave Brussels after spending a week with her daughter and son-in-law. Carolyn Moore called her husband, Geary, “and said there had been an explosion and that it had knocked her down,” Newsom said. “She had not been able to find Stephanie and Justin,” who were at the airport to see Moore off.

“She had said goodbye to them in the terminal and had turned to go toward security and the blast happened,” Newsom said. “She does not know if they stood there to watch her go to security or if they had turned to leave the terminal. She does not know.”

Carolyn Moore remains at a hotel near the airport, Newsom said. “They are keeping her at the hotel because that seems to be where the information is coming when they find people.”

Stephanie Shults works for a division of Mars Inc., which has headquarters in Brussels. The company has been in touch with Carolyn Moore, and some of Stephanie’s co-workers brought an adapter for her cellphone charger so she could stay in contact with family, Newsom said.

Carolyn Moore is “stressed, but every time we’ve talked to her she sounds hopeful and strong,” Newsom said. “She says she wasn’t hurt, but the people from Mars that saw her said she had a bruise on her face, but that was all they saw.”

Newsom, who works as a grants officer at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, said she saw Moore on a TV report.

“She wasn’t identified and she looked OK,” Newsom said. “It was very reassuring. When they asked about my niece, she, of course, started to cry, but that’s pretty much a normal reaction.”

Justin Shults works for a company called Clarcor, and often flies between the United States and Belgium. He and his wife are certified public accountants; they met while getting their master’s degrees at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

“I think we’re all doing as well as can be expected until we know my niece and her husband are safe,” Newsom said. “I’m trying to do Facebook posts every now and then that basically say we don’t know anything.”