Mayor: 2 members of Hart-area family freed in Haiti


FILE – This Oct. 21, 2021, photo shows a sign outside Christian Aid Ministries in Titanyen, Haiti, which had 17 of their members kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang. Two of 17 abducted members of a missionary group have been freed in Haiti and are safe, “in good spirits and being cared for,” their Ohio-based church organization, Christian Aid Ministries, announced Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two of the three missionaries who were freed from captivity by a Haitian gang are members of a West Michigan family, a Hart official said, citing relatives.

Six members of a Hart-area family, a mother and five of her children, were among the group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti nearly two months ago. Three of the hostages were freed Sunday. Earlier this week, the family’s pastor confirmed at least one of them was from his congregation.

On Wednesday, Hart Mayor Vicki Platt said an extended family member from Oceana County told her that two members of the Hart-area family were free.

“I spoke to one of their relatives. They were extremely happy,” Platt told News 8. “It was wonderful to hear their joy knowing two of their family members had been released.”

Platt did not know the names or ages of those released.

The 17 missionaries, who were in Haiti on a mission from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, included 12 adults and five children and 16 Americans and one Canadian. They were kidnapped Oct. 16 by a gang seeking millions in ransom. A total of five have since been freed: two on Nov. 21 and the three Sunday.

The husband and father of the Hart-area family, who was on the mission but was not among those kidnapped, remains in Haiti awaiting the release of the rest of his family, the pastor said Monday.

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