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Man with Raleigh ties, sister killed in Brussels blasts

Posted March 25

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— United States officials confirmed Friday that Alexander Pinczowski and his sister, Sascha Pinczowski, were among those killed in this week’s terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium.

The confirmation of their deaths came as Secretary of State John Kerry visited the city to express condolences to the Belgian people.

Alexander Pinczowski was engaged to the daughter of Jim Cain, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Denmark from 2005 to 2009. Cain, a Raleigh lawyer, was also the chief executive of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2000 to 2002.

The siblings, Dutch nationals who lived in the U.S., had been missing since Tuesday's bombings at the airport departure terminal in Brussels. They were in the airport to travel back to the U.S.

Alexander Pinczowski, 29, was on the phone with his mother in Holland when the line went dead, said Cain, whose daughter Cameron was engaged to Pinczowski.

"The Belgian Authorities tonight provided, to the families gathered at Astrid Hospital in Brussels, a list of the names of all remaining victims of the tragedy of March 22 who remain alive. Sadly, our beloved Alexander and Sascha were not among them," Jim Cain said in a statement. "We are grateful to have closure on this tragic situation and are thankful for the thoughts and prayers from all. The family is in the process of making arrangements."

Cain thanked a number of people and entities, including the Dutch Embassy and Delta Airlines, that helped during their search for the siblings in Brussels.

Alexander Pinczowski had traveled to Holland to work on a craft-related business that he and Cameron Cain were going to start together, her father said.

The couple met six years ago while taking summer courses in Durham. They hadn't set a wedding date but had planned to marry within the year, Jim Cain said.

He called Pinczowski "intimidatingly smart, a brilliant young man."

Sascha Pinczowski, 26, was a 2015 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in New York with a degree in business. She spent last summer as an intern at a catering company, Shiraz Events.

Shiraz Events President Shai Tertner called her "a bright, hardworking young woman, with a great career ahead of her."

Charles Cain, Jim Cain's brother, said the deaths are more devastating for the family than they ever could've imagined.

"Who can contemplate two young people who have the prime of their life ahead of them who had plans together, plans to get married, and are simply traveling from one destination to another to reunite to celebrate Easter together, all of a sudden never see them again? It's terrible," Charles Cain said.

The couple planned to link up in New York on Tuesday and travel to Raleigh to celebrate Easter with the Cain family, he said.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which killed 31 people and wounded 270.

Speaking after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Kerry said the "United States is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us, including Americans, and for the many who were injured in these despicable attacks."

Talking to reporters, Kerry said the reason the Islamic State group is resorting to actions outside the Middle East is that its "fantasy of a caliphate is collapsing before their eyes; it's territory is shrinking. Its leaders are decimated. Its revenue sources are dwindling, and its fighters are fleeing."

"We – all of us representing countless nationalities – have a message for those who inspired or carried out the attacks here or in Paris or Ankara or Tunis or San Bernardino or elsewhere: We will not be intimidated," he said. "We will not be deterred. We will come back with greater resolve – with greater strength – and we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of the Earth."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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