Haitian missionaries kidnapped rescued after almost two weeks

CNN Senior International Correspondent Amy Smith Special Edition • Updated 10th May 2019

(CNN) — Two missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti last weekend have been released after being held for a week, the missionaries said.

“We are physically healthy and are strong thanks to the work of the amazing volunteers from Niger, USA, and of the FBI working with us,” Josh Conant, and Alissa Conant said in a statement provided to CNN by their wife, Kayla.

The Conants, along with Jason and Lauren Strieff, were traveling with Joseph Quinn of West Virginia when they were kidnapped in the Carrefour suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The three were part of a group from Living Water International who had come to Haiti to build a new school and work in a poverty-stricken community.

Kayla Conant said she learned of the “devastating news” a week ago while helping launch a van with Living Water International.

“I immediately made frantic phone calls to my husband and several different staffers who were all in the same area at the same time,” she said.

“The first thing I realized was that this could not be good,” she said. “But the communication was in an outdated voice mail and was turned off. I had no idea what was happening.”

Kayla Conant sent photos of the area where her husband and his family were held, shortly after arriving at a rescue center in La Conception.

“We are now focused on raising money to help us pay for the incredible care our families have received and to give the families a chance to leave with their loved ones,” Kayla Conant said.

Quinn’s wife, Danyelle, thanked people for the prayers, support and donations.

“I would like to thank all of the citizens of Haiti and the citizens of the United States for all of your prayers and well wishes,” she said.

Vandalie Bayne, US consul general in Haiti, also thanked the public.

“We are grateful to everyone who has worked toward the safe release of these missionaries and will continue to keep their family and friends in our thoughts and prayers,” he said.

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