Group: American accused of kidnapping in Haiti released
December 29th, 2010
09:08 PM ET

Group: American accused of kidnapping in Haiti released

An American relief worker who was jailed in Haiti this month after a father accused him of kidnapping a 15-month-old boy has been released, the American's nonprofit organization said Wednesday.

Paul Waggoner was being transported from the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to "a safe location where he will receive immediate medical attention," according to Materials Management Relief Corps, which Waggoner co-founded.

Waggoner's supporters, who maintain that the boy was not kidnapped but rather died in a Haitian hospital where the father sought treatment for him, say he will need to recover from horrific conditions at the penitentiary.

Hearings were held in the case, but Waggoner wasn't charged.

"(Waggoner) and I cannot thank everyone enough for going through this hell with us, and making (Waggoner's) voice heard to the masses, fighting to clear his name, and now we are so glad it is finally over," MMRC co-founder Paul Sebring said in a statement. "This has been a tremendously difficult time for MMRC but it is not the end of us. We will continue to help those that cannot help themselves."

Waggoner was working at the Haitian Community Hospital in Petionville, Haiti, in February – a month after a major earthquake caused extensive damage in Haiti - when a Haitian man sought treatment for his 15-month-old son. Waggoner’s group, the MMRC, is a humanitarian organization that aims to provide logistical support to medical workers in Haiti.

Waggoner's supporters, including two physicians, have said the child died, and his body was cremated because the father would not claim the remains. Waggoner had nothing to do with the child's care, but the child’s father may have handed the boy to him there before the child was pronounced dead, according to his supporters.

The father alleged that the child survived and that Waggoner kidnapped him, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti.

The father filed a complaint against Waggoner in March. Waggoner left Haiti without answering the accusations and was arrested December 12 after returning to the country, according to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti.

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Filed under: Haiti • Justice
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. jam

    it is a shame that you can't do good trying to help others and instead you go to jail that is like u r I trying to help pick someone up who have fallen down and they say i push them down, (dam if you do dam if you don't) i'ts a sad day when you can't help someone just because thank GOD for the USA.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    It is against the law to smuggle children accross national borders, especially in the name of God.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      Do another hit of what you are using and READ the story again!

      December 30, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Your comment is irrelevant here.

      December 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brian d

    yep typical

    December 30, 2010 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Big Joe

    Look! Behind the maple tree. There lies the voodoo doll, undisturbed for 40 years. Quick! Get it. Take the little treasure so that we may control the world.

    December 30, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. termlimits

    Anyone going to 3rd world holes should be alert to c rap like this. Stay home or wake up.

    December 30, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. brian d

    This exactly the reason y these nasty azz haitians should be wiped clean off this planet everything about them is dirty corupt and they dont apprieciate anything ANIMALS So go enjoy a nice glass of pooo water and do the world a favor in the next earthquake just stand there and let earth eat u up

    December 30, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. jeff richmond

    wow brian that was ignorant and un called for. anyways i think the whole situation was messed up. our government should have done more to help him. we let forigners get away with everything but we wont fight for our people when the role is reversed. just seems preposterous.

    December 30, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. brian d

    thats y we should just let them nasty f-Ers drink their poo water and get rid of themselves theres kids in AMERICA that need our help

    December 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. brian d

    Hey jeff y dont u go over there and share a nice glass of that poo water w the animals and while you're at it y dont ya burn a couple tires and hurl rocks at the police

    December 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Melissa

    Read the story. The child was never taken across any border. He was taken to a hospital in Haiti where he died... In Haiti.

    December 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jeff richmond

    brian i dont think your comprehending that there are kids over there that havent done anything wrong. there are kids here that need help to thats true but making raciest comments makeing yourself sound uneducated doesnt help. they are people plaiin and simple. i just dont like their government and the fact that our own government didnt go get him.

    December 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. phil

    @Melissa...I was referencing the 10 missionaries who were caught at the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti trying to smuggle 33 children out of the country. Pardon me.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Placed in the context of the earthquake, their mistake was administrative not criminal. Bad decision? Yes. Criminal? No. Folks were moving kids to save them. Parents gave permission. They were only one group, and others were doing similar. Their mistake was a matter of paperwork.

      December 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |