CINCINNATI – News that an Ohio man had been freed from North Korea after being detained there for nearly six months triggered the same response in his wife and former co-workers: Delight. Jeffrey Fowle's wife cried out with joy, the family's attorney said Tuesday. And a manager in the suburban Dayton city where Fowle formerly worked said they were "delighted to hear the news." The State Department announced Tuesday that the 56-year-old Miamisburg resident was released nearly a half-year after he was taken into custody after leaving a Bible at a nightclub. He had been awaiting trial. Attorney Timothy Tepe said Fowle was able to later call his wife himself on his way home. He was expected to arrive in Ohio on Wednesday, his former employer said in a statement. Two other Americans who have been convicted of crimes in North Korea are still being held.
Moraine, the city where Fowle worked as a streets department employee, terminated his employment last month. "We're delighted to hear the news and look forward to him returning to the community and his family," David Hicks, Moraine's city manager, said Tuesday. He didn't discuss Fowle's employment. Fowle was flown out of North Korea on a U.S. military jet which was spotted at Pyongyang's international airport Tuesday by two Associated Press journalists. Fowle arrived there on April 29 and was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at the nightclub. Christian evangelism is considered a crime in North Korea.
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