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Florida couple missing in Haiti are being held for ransom, family says

Their niece told NBC Miami her aunt and uncle were ordered off a bus on their way to visit family and have been held captive since.
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A Florida couple who went to Haiti to visit sick family members have been kidnapped and are being held for ransom, their family says.

Abigail and Jean-Dickens Toussaint were making their way to Leogan, about 27 miles west of Port-au-Prince, but never made it, their family told NBC Miami. They have not been heard from since March 18.

Christie Desormes, their niece, told NBC Miami that a group ordered her aunt and uncle off a bus and have kept them captive since. The family said that when they paid more than $2,000 of the $6,000 ransom that had been demanded, the kidnappers changed the deal.

“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.

Desormes urged people to contact their state representatives to ask for help bringing her aunt and uncle home.

The State Department said in a statement Sunday that it was aware of reports that two Americans were 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."

First Haitian Baptist Church of Pompano Beach posted about the Toussaints on Wednesday, asking for its congregation to pray for the couple.

"Along with our prayers, we are also challenging our government officials to use their resources in bringing these two back to us where they belong," the church said.

The church held an "intercession" Friday night at which people were invited to pray for the Toussaints.