A Florida couple is reportedly being held ransom after being kidnapped in Haiti. Their family is calling for their return to the US.
- A Florida couple was kidnapped during a trip to Haiti, according to family.
- The family of Jean Dickens and Abigail Toussaint said they are being held for ransom.
Kidnappers are holding hostage two US citizens who traveled to Haiti earlier this month, and are demanding a ransom be paid for their return, family members told CNN on Friday.
The family of Jean Dickens and Abigail Toussaint, both 33, said the couple traveled from Tamarac, Florida to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to visit loved ones and attend a festival, according to reports. Their niece, Christie Desormes, told local CNN affiliate WPLG that the couple was ordered off a bus and kidnapped on March 18.
"They stopped the bus at a stop and then asked for Americans to get off the bus and their escorts off the bus, and then they took them," Desormes said, per the outlet.
According to WPLG, Desormes said the kidnappers initially requested $6,000. But once the family paid it, the kidnappers increased their demand to "$200,000 per person."
The US State Department told Insider that they are "aware" of the situation, adding that when an American is missing "we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can."
While kidnapping in Haiti is an ongoing problem, kidnappers typically only target locals. That changed in October 2021 when a Haitian gang kidnapped a group of mostly American Christian missionaries, demanding $1 million in ransom.
The kidnappers released five of those hostages over the course of the following two months. The remaining 12 managed to sneak past guards and escape to safety. A US federal grand jury indicted the leader of the gang, identified as Joly Germine, last year, according to NBC News.
Desormes started a petition last week, calling for people to spread the word about the couple's plight. As of Saturday, more than 3,000 people had signed it.
"My Family and I have been stressing and doing everything we can to bring them back home and now we need you and your voice to not only sign the petition but to spread the word and to talk to your local representatives to do something to rescue them as they did before for the 17 missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti and returned unharmed," she wrote in the petition.
The kidnapped couple have a child and are members of a Baptist church in Pompano Beach, Florida, NBC Miami reported.
- Electricity prices in Finland flipped negative — a huge oversupply of clean, hydroelectric power meant suppliers were almost giving it away
- Family stands to lose nearly $6,000 in airfare and hotel costs after they were bumped from an overbooked cruise ship
- Flyers are 'skiplagging' to try and save money on flight tickets. Airlines hate it.
- List of Famous things to buy in Srinagar
- What you need to know when you exercise your stock option plan
- BGMI release date announced: Available to Android users for download starting today
- Gangubai Kathiawadi tops technical awards at 23rd IIFA's music-loaded opening
- About 27K employees lost jobs at Indian startups to date, over 8K this year