Black Couple Visiting Family In Haiti Held For $200,000 Ransom Per Person

Black Couple Visiting Family In Haiti Held For $200,000 Ransom Per Person

A trip to visit family in Haiti has become a nightmare for a couple from Florida.

NBC News reports Abigail and Jean-Dickens Toussaint were on their way to Léogâne, approximately 27 miles west of Port-au-Prince, but never made it. After not hearing from them since March 18, their family claims they have been kidnapped and held for ransom for $6,000. Allegedly, a group ordered the Toussaints off a bus and has kept them captive since. The kidnappers changed the deal after, according to the couple’s niece, Christie Desormes, the family paid over $2,000.

According to CNN, the price increased to $200,000—per person.

Desormes says she’s begging people to ask their state representatives for help. “It’s a lot of emotions. It’s devastating,” Desormes said. “You feel angry it happened, and then you feel numb at the same time because it doesn’t feel real.”

A spokesperson from the U.S. State Department says they have been made aware of the kidnapping and are doing what they can. “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,” the spokesperson said. “We have nothing further to share at this time.”

The 33-year-old couple went to Haiti to visit family and attend a festival. However, due to the country’s political turmoil, their family was hesitant about them traveling. “I’m still in a state of shock,” Desormes told WPLG. “It feels like it didn’t happen, but I know it did, especially since I saw them last month for my birthday.”

While playing the waiting game, local community organizations, like First Haitian Baptist Church of Pompano Beach, have been bringing awareness and asking for prayers for the Toussaints. “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 said.

The parents of a 1-year-old, the Toussaints family fear the ransom figure will continue to climb and that it will never be enough. “We just want to hear their voice as proof that they are still alive.”