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Monday
Mar212011

Japan Disaster: Body Found of First American Victim

Courtesy Julia Anderson(TOKYO) -- The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo believes it has identified the first American to die in Japan's devastating tsunami -- Taylor Anderson, 24, of Richmond, Va. -- according to U.S. officials.

Anderson's family has not positively identified the body, officials said. The State Department told ABC News that it was unable to confirm Anderson's death; however, her family released a statement on Monday.

"It is with deep regret that we inform you that earlier this morning we received a call from the U.S. Embassy in Japan that they had found our beloved Taylor's body. We would like to thank all those whose prayers and support have carried us through this crisis. Please continue to pray for all who remain missing and for the people of Japan. We ask that you respect our privacy during this hard time," the statement said.

Anderson was a teacher in the city of Ishinomaki as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program; she'd been participating in the program for two and a half years.

Jean Anderson told ABC affiliate WVEC-TV that her daughter was last seen after the earthquake. She was riding her bike toward her apartment after ensuring that students at her school had been picked up by their parents. The tsunami hit the shores of Ishinomaki shortly afterward.

The family received news Tuesday that she was safe and in a shelter but that information was false.

Ishinomaki is located in the Miyagi Prefecture, a coastal area that took the full force of the tsunami.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio