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A Black Florida couple has reportedly been kidnapped in Haiti and is being held for $200,000 each in ransom.

Jean Dickens Tousaint and his wife Abigail Tousaint, both 33, have been reportedly kidnapped and held hostage in Haiti since March 18. The Florida couple traveled to Haiti to visit family as well as celebrate Rara, a form of festival music and street processions that was birthed from enslaved revolt against the French.

The Tousaint’s niece, Christie, told Miami’s WPLG that the couple was pulled off a bus heading from Port-au-Prince to Tamarac, the couple’s hometown. A family friend who met the Florida couple at the airport to escort them was also kidnapped.

“They stopped the bus at a stop and then asked for Americans to get off the bus and their escorts off the bus, and then they took them,” Christie said.

Ransom demands increase

The family said that initially the kidnappers demanded $6,000 for the couple’s release. Once that was paid the price went up significantly to $200,000 per person.

“We don’t have that type of money,” Christie said.

The U.S. State Department released a brief statement to Law&Crime, saying they were aware of the “missing” couple.

“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” a spokesperson told Law&Crime in an emailed statement. “We are aware of reports of two U.S. citizens missing in Haiti. When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can. We have nothing further to share at this time.”

The Tousaint’s have a son who turned 2 years old on March 28, separated from his parents. 

Christie created a petition to try and get the word out as far as possible in hopes that the couple be returned unharmed.

“They are U.S. citizens. They are parents. They are loved and most of all they are people who desperately need your help…we need you and your voice to not only sign the petition but to spread the word and to talk to your local representatives to do something to rescue them as they did before for the 17 missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti and returned unharmed.”

Americans Kidnapped in Haiti

In October 2021, 17 American-based missionaries were kidnapped by a gang in Haiti notorious for killings, kidnappings, and extortion. 

The missionaries from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, 16 Americans and a Canadian, went to Haiti last year to help rebuild roads, restore houses and install water systems after a disastrous earthquake in August that killed over 200 people.

The gang demanded payment of $1 million for each hostage.

Two hostages were released in November, and three more were freed the following month. The remaining 12 managed to escape the week before Christmas. They walked 10 miles before they found someone who assisted them in calling for help.

The gang’s leader, Joly Germine, was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in May 2022 for orchestrating the kidnapping and is awaiting trial in federal custody.

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...

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