Bay Area mom goes to Brussels in search of son, son's wife

- On Thursday State Department officials explained finding missing Americans has been a slow process.

"A lot of these Americans were taken to Belgian hospitals. We're trying to get, from the Belgians, credible information, credible lists, as they identify the nationalities of these individuals who were taken in the aftermath to hospitals," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told FOX News' Shepard Smith. "It's been a difficult process, but we have a team on the ground of consular officers who are working this."

Meanwhile, State Department officials say they are not aware of any Americans killed in Tuesday's attacks, but caution the Belgian government has not yet released the nationalities of the 34 people confirmed dead. They also acknowledge several Americans remain unaccounted for, including siblings from New York.

An additional 270 were reported wounded in the attacks, which could include many of those still listed missing.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman told FOX News he thinks Americans were targeted in the attacks, based on the locations where bombs were detonated -- including near ticket counters of American-based airlines and a subway stop next to a U.S. Embassy. 

A Bay Area mother left for Brussels after obtaining an emergency passport Thursday morning. Sheila Shell hopes she will find her son and daughter-in-law, who have been missing since Tuesday's terror attacks.

Missing Couple

Justin and Stephanie Shults are an American couple living in Belgium. The two were last seen at the Brussels airport, where they saw Stephanie's mom off shortly before a pair of bombs ripped through the check-in area.

Stephanie's mom was able to escape the chaos, but family members say they haven't heard a word from the young couple since the attack and calls to their cell phones go straight to voicemail.

According to close friends, Shell received a phone call Wednesday night from someone identifying themselves as a State Department official. The caller told the grieving mother her son and daughter-in-law had been found, in a Belgian hospital.

The family's relief, however, was short-lived. Within an hour, a case worker in Belgium denied the report.

It was a cruel and crushing revelation for family members waiting for some sort of answer. Justin Shults' brother, Levi Sutton, apologized on Twitter for sharing the false news his family had received.

"I am I disgusted that the information given to us wasn't 100-percent correct," Sutton tweeted.

Many More Missing

The Associated Press reports the Brussels airport would remain closed at least until Saturday. A spokeswoman said authorities want to maintain a security perimeter while they investigate the attacks.

The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Bay Area mom goes to Brussels in search of son, son's wife
  • Dunedin man facing explosive charges has mental health evaluation
  • Polk County Haunted Jail accepting visitors - if you dare
  • Pinellas Park shop cat, missing 5 years, returns thanks to microchip
  • TPD on Seminole Heights murders: 'Someone's terrorizing the neighborhood'
  • County won't remove pile of Irma debris from private property
  • Controversial ICE program allows Pasco deputies to check immigration status
  • Community takes stand against Seminole Heights murderer
  • Family wants to thank mystery Good Samaritans who helped at crash
  • Bartow to vote on rules for habitual squatters