Madras man now home; was among kidnapped missionaries in Haiti

A caravan drives to the airport after departing from the Christian Aid Ministries headquarters at Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dec. 16, 2021. Twelve remaining members of a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped two months ago have been freed, according to the group and to Haitian police. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

A Madras man who was one of the Christian missionaries taken hostage in Haiti is now home.

Austin Smucker was part of the missionary group rebuilding houses in Haiti when they were abducted back in October.

The group found freedom earlier this month by making a daring overnight escape, eluding their kidnappers and walking for miles over difficult, moonlit terrain with an infant and other children in tow, according to the agency they work for.

Officials with the Christian Aid Ministries, the Ohio-based agency that the captive missionaries work for, detailed their journey to safety in a press conference.

A total of 17 people from the missionary group — 12 adults and five minors — were abducted Oct. 16 shortly after visiting an orphanage in Ganthier.

The group included 16 Americans and one Canadian.

The Coast Guard flew them back to Miami and Smucker is back home. 

Smucker’s family has not wanted to comment on the ordeal.



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