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Five missionaries held hostage in Haiti from West Michigan

Haiti children scavenge dump.jpg
UN Photo/Logan Abassi/UN Photo/Logan Abassi
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Children Scavenge for Valuables in Garbage Dump in Haiti

A Haitian gang responsible for kidnapping 17 members of U.S.-based Christian Aid Ministries is demanding millions in ransom for their safe return.

U.S. officials and law enforcement are searching for 17 abducted individuals. The missionaries were kidnapped Saturday during a visit to a Haitian orphanage. Recently, they’ve been rebuilding homes destroyed by the August earthquake. The gang responsible is demanding $1 million ransom per person. A call to Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries reveals the group includes 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian citizen. In all, six women, six men and five children. Due to the number of inquiries, the ministry is providing recorded updates.

“The ages of the adults being held captive range from 18 to 48. The ages of the children are eight months, three years, six years, 13 years and 15 years.”

The Detroit News is reporting hostages include a family from Oceana County. The parent and four children attend Hart Dunkard Brethren Church.

When U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga learned of the kidnapping he described it as “a sad day for West Michigan.” In a news release the Zeeland Republican said, “My office is working in cooperation and consultation with the State Department and the Biden Administration to secure the safe return of the missionaries and their family members.”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.