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Brussels stories: Grief for the lost, hope for the missing

Story highlights

  • Belgian national Bart Migom, 21, confirmed dead, family members say
  • China, France say citizens died in attacks
  • State Department official confirms two Americans died

(CNN)Two siblings flying to New York. A Peruvian chef. A Belgian law student.

These are some of the dead and missing in Tuesday's terror attacks in Brussels.
    At least 31 people were killed and 300 wounded in Tuesday's attacks at the Brussels Airport and a subway, authorities said. The victims span 40 nationalities.
    Americans were among the dead, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed Friday during a visit to the Belgian capital. He didn't say how many or identify them, but a U.S. State Department official later said that two Americans died.
    France confirmed that one of its citizens was dead and 12 were wounded without providing details. China also said a citizen had died, but it was unclear if the victim, identified only by the surname Deng by the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, was among the 31 already reported dead.
    "We express deep condolences over the death of our Chinese compatriot and strong condemnation on the criminal act of the terrorists," an embassy statement said.
    Meanwhile, the stories of many of the victims are emerging as loved ones struggle to know more.

    Deceased

    Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz
    She had lived in Belgium for six years. Originally from Peru, the 37-year-old, her husband and twin 4-year-old daughters waited to board a flight to New York for an Easter holiday family reunion, according to Peruvian media and CNN en Español.
    Peruvian Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz, 37, was the mother of twin daughters.
    The daughters and husband left the boarding area for a moment. And in that moment, a bomb exploded.
    Her family survived. One of the girls injured her arm but is doing better, her uncle Fernando Tapia told Peruvian media.
    Tapia told CNN that his half sister was a chef and worked with the Peruvian Consulate in Brussels to promote Peruvian food.
    She met her husband in 2005 during a tourist trip in Puno, Peru. She moved to Belgium with him.
    "We never imagined we were going to have to suffer something like this: my sister killed in an inhumane, terrorist act," Tapia said. "She had a happy marriage. She loved her husband, her family life and the girls. She left the country to live abroad in search of a better life and found death in such an inexplicable way. It's something we will never understand."
    Leopold Hecht
    The Belgian law student died in the attack, his school, Universite Saint-Louis Bruxelles, said in a statement.
    Olivier Delespesse
    Delespesse was killed in the metro explosion, according to his employer, La Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles, a government ministry serving Francophone Brussels and Wallonia.
    "I wanted to pay tribute to him and to his family and to all the other victims," said colleague Olivier Dradin in a Facebook tribute.
    Others posted drawings of a cartoon man, weeping, a broken red heart on the ground. A friend wrote, "Courage to his family, his friends, his colleagues."
    "May his soul rest in peace," another posted.
    David Dixon
    The British Foreign Office confirmed Dixon died in the attacks but provided no details.
    'I am deeply saddened to hear David Dixon was killed in the Brussels attacks," British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted Friday. "My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family."
    The British Foreign Office confirmed David Dixon died in the terror attacks.
    Dixon's family believes he died in the explosion at the Maelbeek metro station.
    An aunt sent Dixon a text message after the airport attack, and he replied soon after he was fine, Dixon's longtime partner, Charlotte Sutcliffe, told The Times of London, European edition.
    "He obviously took the train with the bomb, otherwise he would have got to his office," Sutcliffe told The Times.
    In a statement provided by the Foreign Office, the family said: "This morning we received the most terrible and devastating news about our beloved David. At this most painful time our family would gratefully appreciate it if we could be left alone to grieve in private."
    Dixon and Sutcliffe have a son. "I just want him to come home," she had said earlier.
    Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski
    The family of the Dutch siblings who had been missing since the blasts confirmed Friday that the brother and sister had died.
    Alexander Pinczowski was talking to his mother on the phone when the line dropped.
    "We received confirmation this morning from Belgian Authorities and the Dutch Embassy of the positive identification of the remains of Alexander and Sascha," the family said in a statement. "We are grateful to have closure on this tragic situation, and are thankful for the thoughts and prayers from all. The family is in the process of making arrangements."
    The siblings were in the Delta Air Lines ticket line at the airport to check in for their flight to New York when the bombs went off. Alexander was talking to his mother on the phone when the line went dead, Jim Cain, a former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, told CNN.
    Sascha Pinczowski was set to fly to New York with her brother at the time of the attacks.
    "The family would like to thank the Dutch Embassy and Delta Airlines for all of their support in our search in Brussels," the family said in an earlier statement. "We especially thank all of our friends and family, across two continents, for their expressions of love, support and prayers for Sascha and Alex."
    Reacting to their deaths, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, "Their lives were cut short by cowards who have chosen extremism and hate instead of peace and unity. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our deepest prayers and condolences to the Pinczowski family, as well as all those who lost loved ones in Tuesday's heartbreaking attacks."
    Bart Migom
    Migom, 21, a Belgian national, was confirmed dead Friday, according to family members. A Belgian hospital notified his mother.
    Migom was on his way to Athens, Georgia, the day of the attack at the Brussels Airport.
    His girlfriend, Emily Eisenman, checked to make sure his train arrived at the airport at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. It had.
    His flight was scheduled to depart at 10:30 a.m.
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    "But I don't think he ever made it," she said. 
    Migom and Eisenman met last year on a health and fitness retreat in the United States. He and her brother were friends. The couple started dating on October 29. She remembers the exact date.
    He was studying marketing at Howest University in Bruges, Belgium, Eisenman said, and was living with his mother, two brothers and sister.
    He had booked his flight to visit her in the States.
    "I've never been to Belgium," she said.

    Missing

    Gilles Laurent
    Laurent's family believes he was at the metro station at the time of the attack. They haven't heard from him since, his cousin wrote on Facebook.
    Laurent is a sound engineer for film.
    Gilles Laurent's family hasn't heard from him.
    Raghavendran Ganesan
    Raghavendran Ganesan, an Indian citizen and employee of Infosys, has been missing since the attacks, his brother said.
    The Indian Embassy in Brussels is searching for Raghavendran Ganesan.
    His brother wrote on Facebook that the Indian Embassy in Brussels is searching for him.
    "We are coordinating with @IndEmbassyBru & local authorities to locate our employee in Brussels & are in touch with his family," Infosys tweeted.
    Stephanie and Justin Shults
    The couple from Tennessee have lived in Belgium since 2014. They were dropping off Stephanie Shults' mother, Carolyn Moore, at the airport.
    Stephanie and Justin Shults have both been working in Brussels.
    Moore, who was just about to walk through security, was knocked over by an explosion. She is now having trouble hearing in one ear.
    Their families have not heard from the couple and are still awaiting news. Moore remains in Brussels and has been in touch with family in the United States.
    Justin Shults' brother, Levi Sutton of Kentucky, said he woke up on the day of the attacks to texts from his mother. She was asking him to call her.
    "It's the longest day of my life. It's just frustrating not knowing. Not knowing is maddening," Sutton said Tuesday.
    The two both have been working in Brussels and are expected to move back to the United States in 2017.
    On Wednesday, hope emerged the couple had been found, but Sutton later posted a tweet saying the family had been misinformed.
    Sabrina Esmael Fazal
    Sabrina Esmael Fazal, 24, is missing. She took the metro to her university.
    Jonathan Selemani, 25, has been scouring the city's hospitals looking for his partner and mother of their 1-year-old child.
    Sabrina Esmael Fazal, pictured here with her son, is missing.
    "I saw her in the morning, before she went to school, before she was leaving for class," Selemani said. "Then when I learned the news I immediately started looking for her. I haven't found her.
    "I don't know how I'm going to explain it to my son."
    Andre Adam 
    Andre Adam, a former Belgian ambassador to the United States, and his wife, Danielle, were at the airport when the terror attack happened, according to their daughter Gigi.
    Andre Adam and his wife, Danielle, were in the airport, their daughter said.
    Hours after the attack, she learned her mother was taken to a hospital in Flanders. Her father, she said, is missing.
    Gigi has pleaded on Facebook for people to stop calling her unless they have news about her father. Every time the phone rings, her hope rises.
    "No news," she posted. "Thank you...refrain from leaving new messages of sympathy...Every tweet, ping, ring has us trembling just in case..."
    Yves Cibuabua Cyombo
    Cyombo was at the metro at the time of the attack and has not been seen since, his uncle told CNN. Cyombo is a student living in Brussels.
    Yves Cibuabua Cyombo's  family desperately wants information.
    Before the attack he sent a text to his younger brother saying he was about to get on the metro at Maelbeek, the station that was targeted.
    His family posted on Facebook urging anyone with information to get in touch.
    "Please come back to us," they said in the post, adding they believe in "miracles."
    Patricia Rizzo
    A cousin said she hasn't heard from Rizzo. The Italian citizen was at the Maelbeek station, Massimo Leonora wrote on Facebook: "We hope and believe that she is among those that survived, but who still need to be identified. We're searching for her day and night."
    Patricia Rizzo's parents have submitted DNA to help identify their daughter.
    Italian media report that Rizzo's grandparents, who are from the Sicilian province of Enna, moved to Brussels many years ago to work and the family stayed in Belgium. Rizzo's parents have submitted DNA to help identify their daughter, Italian media said.
    Aline Bastin
    Bastin's family believes she was at the Maelbeek metro at the time of the attack, and they have not heard from her.
    Aline Bastin is "a young woman full of life," a friend posted on Facebook.
    The 29-year-old lives in Brussels but grew up in Liege, Belgium, where her father is a physician, according to local media. Bastin is "a young woman full of life and always smiling," friend Ken Charton posted on Facebook. He pleaded for information about her.
    Loubna Lafquiri
    Lafquiri is a physical education teacher at La Vertu School, an Islamic school in Brussels, according to Mohamed Allaf, the school's co-founder.
    Loubna Lafquiri is a physical education teacher.
    Lafquiri is believed to have been at the Maelbeek metro.
    "She was supposed to start at 9:45, but she didn't show up. We started to worry, thought she was sick. We called and called, but there was no answer on her phone," Allaf told CNN.
    She was born in Brussels, and her parents are originally from Morocco. Lafquiri is married with three sons.
    "She was an exceptional woman. She represented the true values of Islam with generosity and caring," Allaf said.
    He said her family spoke with officials at multiple hospitals and provided DNA samples in the hope of identifying Lafquiri.
    Johanna Atlegrim
    Atlegrim's friends and family believe she was in the metro at the time of the attacks. The 31-year-old Swedish woman has lived in Brussels for many years.
    Johanna Atlegrim is a 31-year-old Swedish woman who has lived in Brussels for many years.
    She studies at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre and is an illustrator, according to her Facebook page. Friends have described her as tall and thin with large eyes.
    "The sweetest of all, help us find her," Frederique Halbardier posted on Facebook.
    Fabienne Vansteenkiste
    Vansteenkiste was in the airport, her family has said on social media. The family are holding out hope but are prepared for the worst, Vansteenkiste's daughter wrote on Facebook.
    Fabienne Vansteenkiste's car is still at the Brussels Airport.
    Vansteenkiste's car is still at Brussels Airport, where she also works, her friend Marianne Coudere wrote on Facebook.
    Janina Panasewicz
    Panasewicz was on the metro about the time of the attacks, Anabelle Schatten wrote on Facebook.
    Janina Panasewicz was reportedly on the metro about the time of the attacks.
    Originally from Poland, she is described as having a scar from a recent thyroid surgery and was believed to be wearing black pants and a gray jacket.
    Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Johanna Atlegrim's name.