April 15th, 2010
07:02 PM ET

Charges against 9 American missionaries in Haiti dropped

[Updated at 7:01 p.m.] A tenth missionary, group leader Laura Silsby, remains in a Haitian jail. Authorities in Port-au-Prince accused the group, many of whom belong to a Baptist church in Idaho, of trying to kidnap 33 Haitian children after a devastating January earthquake leveled much of the capital and surrounding areas.

Risch spokesman Kyle Hines told CNN that the senator received a call from State Department officials Thursday afternoon, confirming that kidnapping charges against nine of the missionaries were dropped.

"The senator is pleased to hear that the charges have been dropped and is looking forward to the situation being resolved," Hines said.

The 10 Americans have said they were trying to help the children get to a safe place after the magnitude-7.0 earthquake flattened cities and towns in Haiti.

Haitian authorities stopped the group on January 29 as they tried to cross the border with 33 children without proper legal documentation. The group said it was going to house the children in a converted hotel in the Dominican Republic and later move them to an orphanage.

[Posted at 6:27 p.m.] Charges have been dropped against nine of the American missionaries held in Haiti earlier this year, according to a spokesman for Idaho Sen. Jim Risch.

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Filed under: Haiti • World
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Marla

    There was something shady about the group. Apparently the leader had been to Haiti before the quake and the congregation had had some trouble getting an adoption license in the US.
    Haiti did the right thing because their biggest help came from the US, it was not a good PR move to imprison Americans at this time.
    I hope the entire group was banned from ever returning to Haiti again!

    April 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Spunkalunk

    Despite being in the minority, at least there are some comments here that show commonsense isn't out of fashion.

    (George Nolta, DMR, RN*, Bill*, Andy, Dorothea7, bill V, Omar, Liligi, dean)

    Does it not seem odd, that not a single guardian or even family member/friend of either child attempted to make the journey with them?

    April 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
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