A U.S. contractor and her college graduate daughter were identified Wednesday as two Americans killed aboard the Germanwings plane that plunged into a French Alps mountainside, while the State Department confirmed that a third American also died.
Yvonne Selke and daughter, Emily, of Nokesville, Virginia, were the Americans on doomed Flight 4U9525, NBC News has confirmed. The plane crashed Tuesday en route from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, killing all 150 passengers and crew, officials said. Investigators found one black box and the frame of another black box from the Airbus A320, which was pulverized upon impact in a remote area of the Alps.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not identify the third American.
The Selke family released a statement about the tragic loss of the mother and daughter.
"Our entire family is deeply saddened by the losses of Yvonne and Emily Selke," the family said. "Two wonderful, caring, amazing people who meant so much to so many. At this difficult time we respectfully ask for privacy and your prayers."
Yvonne Selke worked as a contractor for almost 23 years for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in Washington, D.C., the company said.
She "was a wonderful co-worker and a dedicated employee who spent her career with the firm supporting the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency," the Pentagon's satellite mapping office, the company said.
On Facebook, Drexel University's Gamma Sigma Sigma sorority posted a tribute to Emily Selke, a 2013 graduate and a former vice president of the service sorority's Zeta chapter.
"She embodied the spirit of Gamma Sigma Sigma," the post said. "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."
Emily Selke was a music industry major at Drexel's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. She had been working as a community manager at Carr Workplaces, which finds office space to companies, since last year.
"We cherished Emily's work ethic, enthusiasm, humor, and overall presence," the company said in a statement. "She was dedicated, helpful, and always willing to go the extra mile, especially when it came to her passion for hospitality and event planning. Her genuine, bright smile and quick wit will be missed."
Kathy Burr, director of education at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manassas, Virginia, where the Selke family have been members since 1993, recalled that Yvonne Selke volunteered at the church and that Emily sang in the choir as a child.
Yvonne Selke "helped with our library, and she also helped in the faith formation program," Burr told NBC News. "She listened to prayers of the little children and was a substitute for the classroom."
Emily Selke, who attended second through eighth grade at the church school, "stayed close to the church," Burr said. "She was just a very special young woman."
"I'd like them to be remembered as just spiritual people who are close their church, close to their God [and] close to their community," she said. "And they'll be remembered for a long long time."
Ryan Ocksrider, a neighbor of the Selkes' in Nokesville, likewise described the Selkes as "nice people."
"Real shocking, you know," he told NBC News. "Life could be over in a flash. They were good people."
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