Kidnapped American nurse Alix Dorsanvail and her child were both said to be “healthy and unharmed” after their release in Haiti— where cell phone data suggested they had been held in an area controlled by a notoriously criminal gang, as details of the release emerged last Thursday.
El Roi Haiti, the Christian non-profit led by Dorsanvail’s husband, revealed Thursday that US officials had been key in freeing the mother and child on Tuesday, a day before their release was announced.
“Alix and her daughter were released healthy and unharmed after 13 days of captivity,” the group said.
“We could not be more thankful for the safety of our dear sister, friend, and staff member.
“Alix is a remarkably resilient woman whose walk with God guides her deep love for her family and her passionate commitment to the Haitian people.”
The update did not detail who had kidnapped the pair or if a ransom had been paid.
Earlier reports suggested there had been a demand for $1 million.
However, El Roi credited “key US law enforcement and State Department representatives who worked tirelessly behind the scenes” in gaining their freedom.
The nonprofit also extended its gratitude to Concilium Inc., a ministry that provides security training to Christian missionaries, for providing crisis consultants who participated in the “recovery process.”
“God demonstrated His loving kindness through both private and public sector partners and resources who helped us navigate this crisis,” El Roi said.
When Dorsanvail and her daughter were abducted from a clinic outside Port au Prince, her cellphone was used to call her husband, Sandro Dorsainvil, a local law enforcement source told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The phone pinged to an area not far from the site of the kidnapping, in a territory dominated by the Canaan gang — a ruthless criminal organization known to carry out kidnappings, the source said.
The thugs demanded a large ransom — previously reported to be $1 million — for the hostages’ release.
It was unclear whether a ransom had been paid for the mother and child’s return. However, ransom demands of $1 million are not unusual, according to Pierre Esperance, executive director of the National Human Rights Defense Network in Haiti.
Some will accept a fraction of their initial request, but then demand a second or third ransom before releasing someone.
“The gangs are terrorists,” he said.
Sources: New York Post, news agencies.