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Father of South Florida Haitian family kidnapped; ransom has already been paid twice

The hostage drama involving 16 American missionaries in continues in Haiti, but for more than two weeks, a South Florida family has also been living a nightmare.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The hostage drama involving 16 American missionaries in continues in Haiti, but for more than two weeks, a South Florida family has also been living a nightmare.

It is estimated kidnappings in Haiti have risen 300 percent since the assassination of the country’s president Jovenel Moise on July 7.

For Joelle Farah Michel and her family, their horrifying ordeal began on Oct. 3.

“We haven’t spoken to our father in 17 days, my mother hasn’t spoke to her dear husband in 17 days,” she said. “Dad not being here, is worse than…it’s like you don’t have a soul anymore.”

Her father, Jean Pierre Ferre Michel, a pastor, was making his Sunday trip to church with two of his worshippers.

“As he was parking his car, a Nissan car from the Minister of Justice pulled and with six individuals, pulled up in their attire of police officers and as I was explained said sir, we’re going to give you a ticket,” she explained.

The Michel family has paid the captors’ ransom, not once but twice.

“There was proof of life this morning for whomever is negotiating this... he spoke to somebody who knows the family,” Michel said.

The captors are now asking for a third ransom.

Five days ago, one of the worshippers who was with the pastor and his friend was set free, and has gone into hiding, as the Michel family can only hope.

“These people have a heart, they to let go of this old man, and they have to let go of Norman Wiener,” Michel said. “So this is wrong, this is wrong, this is very wrong.”

The Michel family said the pastor is 77 years old and needs his medication. They fear the worse if they can’t get them to him soon.


About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning newscaster Calvin Hughes co-anchors Local 10 News at 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m.