Senator: U.S. says Haiti will release last two missionaries

Idaho StatesmanFebruary 23, 2010 

The State Department has told Idaho's U.S. Sen. James Risch that two missionaries still being held in Haiti on child kidnapping charges will be released later this week.

Risch's spokesman, Brad Hoaglun, said that the State Department said Laura Silsby and Charisa Coulter would be released later this week. The information was passed to the State Department by the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince after an embassy consular official attended a hearing Tuesday on the missionaries' case, Hoaglun said.

Silsby and Coulter were among 10 Americans who were arrested in Haiti when they attempted to take Haitian children into the Dominican Republic after Januiary's earthquake. The children were originally described as orphans, but subsequent investigation showed that all had living parents who had granted the Americans permission to take the children.

Eight of the missionaries were released last week, but Silsby and Coulter were ordered held while an investigation continued.

It is not known yet exactly when Silsby and Coulter will be released, Hoaglun said, or whether they will be officially deported from Haiti or allowed to leave voluntarily.

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