A pair of missionaries abducted by a gang from a brothel in Haiti were rescued on Thursday and their whereabouts are unknown.
Deana Cire, 38, and Joseph Serapio, 38, were among a group of 12 Christian missionaries — seven women and five men — who set out from the Dominican Republic to build a school in Haiti on Feb. 27. The group was kidnapped by a suspected gang operating in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince while travelling in a white van to start constructing the school.
The kidnappers, dressed in black and armed with AK-47s, abducted the group in an area called Petionville, known for its illegal sex business, where a number of brothels are located. A sixth missionary, Richard Jancand, was murdered on Feb. 28 after he escaped the kidnapping and told his story to local reporters.
In an interview with NBC News, Jancand said he “got yelled at by three guys” in the van and that the men quickly seized him and five others.
“They asked me to take them to Haiti,” he said. “I didn’t have any money with me. It was very scary, and I was very surprised because I told them no I wasn’t going to do that.”
The kidnappers eventually let Jancand leave the van while the other captives remained inside, but as the group walked, they were accosted by three more men, who one day later killed Jancand.
“They basically told us to sit down, and they were shooting the air a lot,” Serapio said. “They said we better not run, we better not make a sound, because if we do they are going to take us all.”
The gang was allegedly led by Peter Marc, 26, a former street gang member who entered politics after winning a hotly contested election.
Marc was released to his family last week after being held at a secure location for three days. He later tweeted that he had been planning to perform priestly duties and had decided to forgive the kidnappers once he regained his freedom.
“Now is the time to be strong and to beat the fever, because every life is valuable,” he wrote.
Serapio and Cire were rescued on Thursday afternoon during a raid on a place in the eastern part of the country. Their location has not been disclosed. Three of the kidnappers have been arrested, according to Haiti News Now.
Read the full story at The Independent.
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