A Florida couple reportedly kidnapped in Haiti remain captive after family paid a portion of the ransom and the alleged kidnappers demanded much more, NBC News reported.
“It’s a lot of emotions, it’s devastating, you feel angry it happened, and then you feel numb at the same time because it doesn’t feel real,” Christie Desormes, the couple’s niece, told WTVJ.
“I do have the worst-case scenario playing in my head, but obviously I don’t want that to happen,” Desormes told WPLG Thursday. “We just want to hear their voice as proof that they are still alive.”
Abigail and Jean-Dickens Toussaint of Tamarac, both 33, were kidnapped on March 18 in the Port-au-Prince area, CNN reported, based on a statement provided by the couple’s family.
The couple flew to Haiti to visit ailing family members in Leogane. They were ordered off a bus and kept captive for six days, while the captors demanded $6,000 in ransom, WTVJ reported.
After the family made a first deposit of more than $2,400, the ransom deal was canceled.
“Once we sent that money, they tried to up the price to $200,000 per person, and we don’t have that type of money,” Desormes said.
“Contact your representatives to bring Jean-Dickens Toussaint and Abigail Toussaint back home. Do something for them,” Desormes pleaded, also noting that her uncle “basically raised” her.
Family has reportedly alerted the U.S. Embassy, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The State Department is reportedly aware of reports of two Americans missing in Haiti.
“When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can,” a State Department statement acquired by NBC News said. “We have nothing more to share at this time.”
First Baptist Church of Pompano Beach asked for prayer for the Toussaints’ release and safe return.
“We are trusting in God to finish the work that He has started, and the family is asking for your help. Call the Embassy every 4 hours and ask them to please aid in the rescue of US citizens Abigail and Jean Toussaint. With our prayers and support, we are hoping that this couple will return home soon!” the church said in Facebook post Sunday.
Watch coverage of the Toussaints’ reported kidnapping below.
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