U.S. family hopes for lost daughter in Japan

andersonfamily.jpg
Jean and Andy Anderson try their best from the United States to find information about their missing daughter, Taylor Anderson, who they haven't heard from since Japan's devastating tsunami and earthquake in March.
CBS

CHESTERFIELD, Va. - Among the more than 8,000 people missing in Japan after the nation's devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami is a young American teacher working there as part of an exchange program, CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports.

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In a suburb of Richmond, Va., the Anderson family kitchen has been converted into a command center. They send tweets and sift through message boards, searching for any sign of 24-year-old Taylor Anderson.

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"The State Department just said this is their No. 1 priority right now," her father Andy Anderson said.

Taylor Anderson teaches English in the seaside city of Ishinomaki, about 50 miles northeast of the quake's epicenter in the heart of the tsunami zone. Parts of the city are OK. Others are decimated.

As far as Andy Anderson and his wife Jean know, all of their daughter's friends have now been accounted for.

When the family appeared on CBS' "The Early Show" Tuesday, they had just been told she was found.

Video: American woman missing in Japan found

But 12 hours later, they learned it was a false lead from the teaching program, and a new story emerged.

Based on what the teaching program told them, the family came up with a map showing the best route to take from the school.

"They said that she had left after the earthquake, before the tsunami," Andy Anderson said, adding that the route wasn't damaged in the natural disaster.

But with bridges destroyed and cell service spotty, her parents and brother and sister know the search for Anderson could be a slow one. Still, they've got a feeling that she is in a shelter and safe.

Said Andy Anderson, "We've just got to find her."

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    Nancy Cordes is CBS News' chief White House correspondent.