First American Victim of Japan Tsunami Confirmed

Taylor Anderson, 24, was last seen biking home from the school where she taught
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Suggested by caitcaff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 7:20 PM CDT

From Japan, fresh heartbreak that truly hits home: The first known American victim of the earthquake has been confirmed. "It is with deep regret that we inform you that earlier this morning we received a call from the US Embassy in Japan that they had found our beloved Taylor's body," wrote the family of Taylor Anderson. The 24-year-old from Richmond was last seen riding her bike away from the school where she taught just minutes before the tsunami hit, reports MSNBC.

"Taylor helped in the evacuation of the students onto the athletic field, waited for parents to pick up the students and whoever was leftover went to higher ground. Taylor decided to go back to her apartment, but by her bike, and so we know she left her school and that’s the last we know," said her sister. Her father estimates "she probably had 10, 15 minutes of bike riding before the water hit." Anderson had lived in Japan since August 2008, and was due to return home this August, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. An estimated 50,000 Americans were living in or visiting Japan on March 11. (More Japan earthquake stories.)

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