Church agency: Missionaries captured and made daring escape

Officials from the agency they work for said Monday that Haitian missionaries held captive in Haiti were able to escape their kidnappers last week and walked miles on difficult terrain, with an infant and other children, to find freedom.

Church agency: Missionaries captured and made daring escape

Officials with Christian Aid Ministries in Ohio, where the missionaries were held, stated Monday that the 12-member group navigated by stars to safety following a two-month-long kidnapping ordeal.

After Thursday's announcement that the missionaries had been released, the detailed account of their journey to safety follows.

The missionary group, which included 12 adults and five minors, was abducted on Oct. 16. They had visited an orphanage at Ganthier in the Croix-des-Bouquets region, where they checked that it had received aid from CAM. There, they also played with the children. The group consisted of 16 Americans and one Canadian.

The 400 Mawozo gang demanded ransom in the millions for their captors. Five other prisoners had been released earlier. It is not known if ransom was ever paid.

According to Weston Showalter, CAM spokesperson, the 12 fledglings carried the infant and the 3-year-old. They wrapped the baby in blankets to keep her safe from the brambles and briars.

He said that after a long walk, day started to dawn, and that someone helped them to call for help. His voice was beginning to choke. They were finally free.

They were taken to Florida by a U.S. Coast Guard plane and later reunited together with five hostages who had been released earlier.

CAM showed photos of hostages released from captivity at news conferences, as well as a video showing them singing a song they had learned during captivity.

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