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. Luis

    I would like to know how much money the USA paid for charges getting dropped. They are guilty and should be in jail. I do not care that they belong to a church.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jaguaraul

    hmmm, ok so we have prisoners in Haiti...US rushes to help Haiti in their time of need...now they are released...add this to the HAARP theories????

    April 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. H New York City

    What a shame. They really should have been held accountable for their actions!

    April 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KP

    Sad those people should be prosecuted for the arrogance and nastiness AND because they broke the law. Who do they think they are to go in like that. They are not Christians they are exploiters. However, Haiti has enough problems without messing around with a bunch of self righteous do-gooders doing bad. These are the kind of people that give Americans and honest Christians a bad name.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Black

    They should have all been dropped. Haiti had no sufficient evidence to charge those folks with kidnapping. Sometime tragedy only brings the like... Sad

    April 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marjorie A. Osollo

    It soulnds like they were only trying to help why do people always jump to
    conclusions without knowing all the facts

    April 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alexa

    So.. We have people who go to Haiti and try to give children a better life that they may not have gotten without these peoples help. You have parents willing to give their children away to have a better life...

    Oprah did this in Africa, she gets praised for it...
    Church folks do the same thing in Haiti and everyone is against them...

    If you want to blame anyone, blame the parents. No one stole their kids. They gave up their children willingly...

    April 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jarrod Henry

    Luis, how do you know that they are guilty? Isn't the point of a trial to determine guilt? Isn't the point of an investigation to determine whether charges can stand?

    The fact is, it has sounded like this woman was a ringleader from the start, and the remainder were her pawns. This is nothing new to this case.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. P Conlon

    ******** If Money had been paid up front in more normal times for a smaller group of Children there would have been no problem. Bribery is the norm in Haiti and selling off Children even to No.American & European deviates is not unknown.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jamie

    I got a chance to meet some of these folks while in PAP (not the leader.) I sensed nothing but the best of intentions for really a noble goal. Not done well? Yes. A bit naive? Probably. Criminal? Hardly.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Just another one

    Ok, so your saying, if someone gathered all the kids from your neighborhood, stuck them on a bus and headed for the border, you would be ok with that. Sad

    April 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BKL

    This is what I've been waiting for, The charges have been dropped. After reading this, I found the Missionary group did NOTHING wrong. I believe The Haitian Government overreacted, and did not realize the dangers in their country. This group did the right thing moving these kids to a safe area in the Dominican Republic.

    Another thing; ANYBODY who says these guys are not Christians but they are Exploiters, is questioning the Will of God. I don't take this lightly.

    @KP, You must not have a bit of good in you, Missionary's going in to aid others ARE doing the right thing.
    If your town was struck by an EF5 tornado, would you want others from other cities and states to help your town?

    I think this was a act of kindness, that went wrong, and was miss-understood.

    I support the missioners 100%

    April 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lazlo

    Kids for sale. Kids for sale. Big discounts. Blue light specials. Quiet, obediant, scared sh-less, good at housework, trainable for porn work . . . Thieves and charletans, every last one. The stake is too good for these people.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Iteach

    Good. Justice has been served.There was no evidence,charges dropped. It's a shame it took this long. God bless them and may they find blessings in this terrible ordeal.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. redchileboy

    People in poverty will always be victims. Unfortunately, they lack protection,\. Either money or diplomatic hogwash will prevail to justify actions of unjust people. Look at intervention in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras, and you will see how the poor are always trampled, the rich will always embellish and justify, and money can whitewash any situation!
    Its a travesty of justice that has been played over and over again. Three poorest nations kept down by the richest nations of this world.
    It wont change until more people are aware of this..Preval ..like many before you, you let your nation down and have allowed it to be occupied once again under a white man;\'s pretext!
    I.m sorry they got away, but surely there will be others! Judge in Haiti, you should be spending time with Jorge Puello!!

    April 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
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