A Florida couple have been kidnapped in Haiti and remain held captive for ransom, say family members, who are asking for help and pressing US officials to find them.
Abigail and Jean-Dickens Toussaint, both 33, were abducted on March 18 around Port-au-Prince, the national capital, according to a statement from their families provided to CNN.
“Please share this and spread the word as much as you can,” the statement read, hoping the two will return safely “to their child and family.”
A U.S. State Department spokesperson told CNN they 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 conduct their search, and share information with families as we can,” the spokesperson said. “We have nothing further to share at this time.”
The couple traveled to Haiti to visit family and attend a festival, but were kidnapped on their bus ride from Port-au-Prince, according to a woman named Christie, claiming to be the victims’ niece.
“They stopped the bus at a stop, then asked the Americans to get off the bus and their escorts to get off the bus, and then they took them away,” she told CNN affiliate WPLG.
The kidnappers demanded $6,000 for the couple’s release, but after their family paid, they demanded more money, WPLG reports.
“Once we sent that money, they tried to raise the price to $200,000 per person and we don’t have that kind of money,” Christie told WPLG.
CNN has contacted Haitian authorities for more information but has not received a response.