The remaining members of a U.S. missionary group who were kidnapped in Haiti in October have been freed, according to Haitian police.
A spokesman for the Haitian National Police, Gary Desrosiers, spoke with The Associated Press that all the hostages had officially been released. The missionaries were brought to Port-au-Prince where they would be kept safe until returning home.
Christian Aid Ministries, the ministry that the missionaries traveled with, released a statement announcing their relief that everyone was able to be freed. “We glorify God for answered prayer — the remaining 12 hostages are FREE! All 17 of our loved ones are now safe.”
CAM ministries has been working to raised funds and resources to help free the hostages since they were taken in October. Church members have held fasts and prayers for the missionaries to all return safely.
According to the missionaries, they were held captive by the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct. 16. There were five children in the group of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian, including an 8-month-old. A Haitian driver was also abducted, according to reports.
The hostages said that the gang’s leader had threatened to kill them unless his demands were met. Authorities have said the gang demanded $1 million per person. It is unclear if any ransom was paid or what efforts led to the hostages’ freedom.
Two of the hostages were initially released in November, and three more were released later in December.
CAM is comprised of Anabaptists — members of Amish, Mennonite and other related churches that share common characteristic beliefs. The ministry was a in Haiti to help churches provide food, school supplies and other materials to those in need.