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Former Cellmate of Peter Theo Curtis: ‘Tears of Joy’ for Family

US hostage freed by militants 2:29

A photographer who was held for six months in Syria with Peter Theo Curtis, the American writer freed by an al Qaeda affiliate on Sunday, says the day “will go down as one of the happiest of my life.”

The photographer, Matthew Schrier, escaped the city of Aleppo in July 2013. He told The New York Times that he got away by making an opening in the wall of a cell he shared with Curtis, then standing on his cellmate’s back to climb through.

In a statement Monday, Schrier said:

Theo and I were together for over 6 months, but we never shared an August day together during that time. Now, thank God, we do. This day will go down as one of the happiest of my life. After living through the tragic events of this past week with the death of James Foley and hearing that the life of Theo Curtis has been spared, it gives me great hope for the safe return of all the other hostages. On this day my thoughts, prayers, and tears of joy go out to the entire Curtis family. Hopefully, this is just the beginning regarding our captives and their long journeys home.

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— Erin McClam