OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:27 PM – Wednesday, November 15, 2023
A leader of a Haitian gang who has allegedly kidnapped and killed United States citizens has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
On Wednesday, the FBI announced that they have added the Haitian man, Vitel’Homme Innocent, to their most wanted list after he allegedly kidnapped 16 American Christian missionaries serving near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and killed one in a separate incident.
Reports claim that the hostages were held captive 61 days before they finally managed to escape. The hostages included five children, one as young as 8-months-old.
Innocent is also accused of participating in a second hostage-taking incident in which one U.S. citizen was murdered, according to an unsealed indictment that surfaced in October 2023.
Authorities say that gang members shot and killed American Marie Odette Franklin, while her husband Jean Franklin was kidnapped and held captive at an unidentified location in Haiti. Innocent allegedly participated in ransom discussions for Jean Franklin’s release while he was imprisoned.
Special Agent Jeffrey B. Veltri in charge of the FBI Miami Field Office stated that the gang leader is the 532nd fugitive added to the ten most wanted list and that the State Department is offering a reward of up to $2,000,0000 for information leading to his arrest.
“Haitian gang leader Vitel’Homme Innocent is the 532nd fugitive added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and killing of U.S. citizens in Haiti,” said Veltri. “The State Department is offering a reward of up to $2,000,0000 for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction. Our resolve to bring him to account for his alleged crimes will not waver. I want to thank the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for their close cooperation and partnership investigating these cases.”
According to the FBI, even though Innocent is believed to be residing in Haiti, he has ties to other Caribbean countries.
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