December 9, 2023

TAMARAC, Fla. (NewsNation) — A Florida couple who had been being held hostage in Haiti is now again dwelling and talking publicly for the primary time about their launch and what circumstances had been like.

Jean-Dickens (JD) Toussaint, an accountant, and Abigail Michael Toussaint, a social employee, had traveled to Haiti to go to members of the family. On March 18, they had been kidnapped by a gang whereas touring to the city of Leogane on a public bus.

In an unique interview with NewsNation, the couple mentioned a 3rd member of the family from Haiti was additionally held captive. They mentioned the three of them had been shacked up in a room for weeks with just one meal a day and barely any water.

Abigail and JD at the moment are respiratory a sigh of aid.

“It’s been laborious,” Abigail mentioned.

The Florida couple had traveled to Haiti to assist household and go to their sick uncle. 

That journey became a life-or-death scenario.

“They had been armed, closely armed, with military-grade weapons,” JD mentioned of his captors. 

The Toussaints had been taken by a Haitian gang and held hostage for weeks, and in keeping with Abigail, the times had been lengthy.

Members of the family paid somebody they trusted $6,000 to ransom the lacking family members, however the cash disappeared, and the couple continued to be held.

The abductors then raised the ransom to $200,000.

However the Toussaints mentioned they by no means gave up hope that they’d make it out alive.

“We knew we weren’t going to die there,” Abigail mentioned.

“We by no means put (demise) in our thoughts. No,” JD added.

The toughest half for JD was not seeing or listening to from their son, Jayce, who simply turned two.

Proper now, Haiti has a stage 4 journey advisory due to excessive ranges of kidnapping, crime and civil unrest. 

In latest months, the Justice Division has unsealed prison expenses in opposition to Haitian gangs, together with gang leaders concerned within the armed kidnappings of 16 Americans within the fall of 2021.

Ongoing violence in Haiti has included at the very least 101 kidnappings within the first two weeks of March, principally concentrating on Haitian residents.

Legal professional Common Merrick Garland mentioned partially, “They’re dedicated to disrupting these kidnapping-for-ransom schemes.”

With the assistance of the FBI and State Division, Abigail and JD had been launched and have since been reunited with their son.

“He embraced me, and I simply felt all of the love,” Abigail mentioned of the reunion. “Phrases couldn’t clarify how comfortable I used to be when he mentioned mommy.”

The Toussaints try to get again to regular life, however within the meantime, they mentioned they’re nonetheless working with the FBI and State Division on their investigation.

NewsNation author Devan Markham contributed to this report