A Florida couple has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom in Haiti, according to their family.
Abigail and Jean-Dickens Toussaint were on their way to Leogan, about 27 miles west of Port-au-Prince, to visit sick family members but never made it to their destination, loved ones told NBC Miami. Family members said they haven't heard from the couple since March 18.
According to the family, the Touissaints were ordered off a bus before they were kidnapped and held captive.
“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 Desormes, the couple's niece, said.
The family said they began paying a $6,000 ransom to free the couple, but the kidnappers changed the deal.
“Once we sent that money, they tried to up the price to $200,000 per person, and we don’t have that type of money,” Desormes said.
In a statement on Sunday (March 26), the State Department said it was aware that two Americans were reportedly 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," the statement said. "We have nothing further to share at this time."
According to the family, the missing couple's son, who is being taken care of by his grandfather, is turning two on Tuesday (March 28).
“It’s a lot of emotions. It’s devastating. You feel angry it happened, and then you feel numb at the same time, because it doesn’t feel real,” Desormes said.
The family created a Change.org petition to help bring the couple back home.
“Please help us bring them back home to him and our family. They are U.S. citizens. They are parents. They are siblings. They are my family,” Desormes wrote in the petition. “They are loved and most of all they are people who desperately need your help. My Family and I have been stressing and doing everything we can to bring them back home, and now 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 last year.”
The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.