OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 12:12 PM – Monday, March 27, 2023
A Florida couple who traveled to Haiti to visit unwell family members were abducted and are reportedly being held for ransom, according to their family.
Abigail and Jean-Dickens Toussaint, both 33, were traveling to Leogan, which is located about 27 miles west of Port-au-Prince, but they never arrived.
Since March 18th, they have still not been heard from.
Their niece, Christie Desormes, 22, told the press that her uncle and aunt were taken hostage after being forced off a bus. The couple had planned to visit Haiti for only four days while they cared for their sick relatives.
“They stopped the bus at a stop and then asked for Americans to get off the bus and their escorts off the bus, and then they took them,” Desormes explained.
The family said that the kidnappers revised their demands after they paid more than $2,000 of the $6,000 ransom sought.
“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,” said Desormes.
Their niece advised people to get in touch with their state lawmakers and request further assistance in relocating her aunt and uncle.
In a statement released on Sunday, the State Department acknowledged receiving allegations that two Americans were missing in Haiti.
“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. We are aware of reports of two U.S. citizens 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. We have nothing further to share at this time,” said a State Department spokesperson in a statement.
On Wednesday, the First Haitian Baptist Church of Pompano Beach blogged about the Toussaints and urged their assembly to pray for the American pair.
“Along with our prayers, we are also challenging our government officials to use their resources in bringing these two back to us where they belong,” the church announced.
On Friday night, First Baptist Church of Pompano Beach organized a sizable “prayer session” event, during which attendees were encouraged to come and pray for the missing couple.