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U.S. Missionary’s Wife Pays $5,000 for Husband’s Release in Haiti

ICC Note:

This is a remarkable story – the kidnapped missionary could not be intimidated by his captors, and responded to their death threats by saying, “If you do away with me, I’m going to a better place. Where are you going?”

By The Associated Press (10/20/06) – The wife of a U.S. missionary kidnapped in Haiti paid $5,000 for her husband’s release, his mother said.

The Rev. Pritchard Adams III, a 24-year resident of the Caribbean nation, was abducted at gunpoint Sunday as he left church in the northern city of Cap-Haitien . The kidnappers asked for $80,000 but lowered the ransom to $5,000 by Tuesday.

His mother, Lucy Adams of Fayetteville , said Adams ‘ wife Dana met the kidnappers outside a small town called Limbe and paid the ransom as some armed kidnappers hid in the brush.

They returned the family’s Jeep, which had been stolen during the kidnapping, then fled on foot and by motorcycle. Later, as promised, Pritchard Adams walked into town.

Lucy Adams said she spoke with her son Wednesday by satellite phone.

He told her three of the four kidnappers were fugitives, accused of killing a dozen men including two police officers, and needed money to flee the country. They threatened to kill him.

“He told them, ‘If you do away with me, I’m going to a better place. Where are you going?”‘ Lucy Adams said. “They tried to intimidate him and they couldn’t do it. He was cool as a cucumber.”

Dana Adams and a Haitian groundskeeper also had been abducted but were released after they began singing and praying in the back of their vehicle. Dana Adams then worked feverishly to raise the ransom money at their missionary compound in Cap-Haitien, Lucy Adams said.

The family is now trying to repay the loan.

Foreign missionaries have recently become prime targets for kidnappings, which flourished in the aftermath of a February 2004 revolt that toppled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Kidnappings are common in Haiti ‘s violent capital of Port-au-Prince , but such crimes have been rarer in the outlying provinces.

Pritchard Adams, 50, went to Haiti when he was 26 and worked as a principal of a Christian school, his mother said. He later became a missionary, operating a church out of a World War II medical tent with holes in it. He now has more than 1,000 church members, an elementary school and adult literacy program