Yvonne and Emily Selke–a mother and adult daughter from the Washington D.C. area–were identified as the two Americans on the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps on Tuesday.
They were from Nokesville, Virginia, according to NBC News.
— justin jouvenal (@jjouvenal) March 25, 2015
“Our entire family is deeply saddened by the losses of Yvonne and Emily Selke,” the family wrote in a statement. “Two wonderful, caring, amazing people who meant so much to so many. At this difficult time we respectfully ask for privacy and your prayers.”
The plane crashed as it was going from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany. All 150 passengers on the airliner died.
Yvonne Selke worked as a government contractor, a family source confirmed. She also worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Emily Selke graduated in 2013 from Drexel University.
“She embodied the spirit of Gamma Sigma Sigma,” reads a post from the Gamma Sigma Sigma sorority. “As a person and friend, Emily always put others before herself and cared deeply for all those in her life. Emily will be greatly missed by her fellow sisters of Zeta. Please keep Emily, her mother and their family in your thoughts and prayers during this heartbreaking time.”
Meanwhile, French investigators cracked open a mangled black box and retrieved some audio from its cockpit voice recorder Wednesday.
The orange cockpit voice recorder — dented, twisted and scarred by the impact — is considered the key to knowing why the Germanwings A320 lost radio contact with air traffic controllers over the southern French Alps then crashed Tuesday during a routine flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Duesseldorf, Germany.
French officials said terrorism appeared unlikely, and Germany’s top security official said Wednesday there was no evidence of foul play.
Remi Jouty, director of the French aviation investigative agency, said some audio had been recovered by Wednesday afternoon, including sounds and voices. He said it was too early to draw any conclusions from the recorder, which takes audio feeds from four microphones in the cockpit and records all the conversations between the pilots, air traffic controllers as well as any noises.
Jouty said the plane was flying “until the end.” He said the final communication from the plane was a routine message about permission to continue on its route.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.