An American couple on a trip to Haiti has been kidnapped and held for ransom, according to family members.
ABC News reports Jean-Dickens Toussaint and his wife, Abigail Toussaint, of Tamarac, Fla. were abducted while on a trip to the Caribbean country for a festival and family visit.
The family informed the news outlet the Toussaints were on a bus from Port-au-Prince when they, along with their escort, were taken. The kidnappers initially demanded $6,000 for the couple’s release, Nikese Toussaint, the sister of Jean Dickens Toussaint, shared with ABC News. After that portion was sent, the ransom was raised to $200,000 per person.
“We were very worried when they said they were going, we told them not to go but they wanted to go,” Nikese Toussaint said to the outlet.
According to an online petition filed by Christie Desormes, the couple went missing on March 18. Together, they share a child who turned two on Tuesday (March 28.) Speaking with ABC Miami affiliate WPLG, Christie, who identified herself as their niece, shared more about the Toussaint family.
“I do have the worst-case scenario playing in my head, but obviously I don’t want that to happen,” she detailed. “We just want to hear their voice as proof that they are still alive.”
ABC News reported the U.S. Department of State did not confirm a kidnapping, but said it is “aware of reports of two U.S. citizens missing in Haiti.” The U.S. State Department labels Haiti under the “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory as of December 2022. The ranking is attributed to reports of kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest.