State Department Confirms 2 US Citizens Kidnapped in Haiti

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a senior reporter for the Epoch Times. She covers U.S. news and world news. Contact her at
March 31, 2023Updated: March 31, 2023

The U.S. State Department on Thursday confirmed that two U.S. citizens have been kidnaped in Haiti.

“I can confirm the kidnapping of two U.S. citizens in Haiti. We are in regular contact with Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and our U.S. Government interagency partners, but I don’t have any other specific updates to offer at this time,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a briefing.

Jean-Dickens Toussaint and his wife, Abigail Michael Toussaint, were reportedly kidnapped on March 18.

The couple, from Tamarac, Florida, were on their way to Leogane in Haiti to visit family. But they and another person were snatched off a public bus in the Port-Au-Prince area of Haiti, and never made it to their destination.

The gang that kidnapped them are demanding $200,000 per person as a ransom, according to relatives.

“How are we ever going to come up with that money?” Nikese Toussaint, the sister of Jean-Dickens Toussaint, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on March 27.

She noted that the family is in touch with the FBI, which is helping with the case.

Since the couple was kidnapped, Jean-Dickens Toussaint has only been able to make two brief calls to the family. The family was told that he and his wife are tied up.

Relatives of the Toussaints are caring for the couple’s child, who just turned two on March 28.

Haiti has been plagued by gang violence and kidnappings for many years.

According to the United Nations, there have been at least 277 kidnappings reported in Haiti since the start of 2023, with at least 101 kidnappings reported in the first two weeks of March alone.

Gangs in Haiti are known to target both Haitian citizens and foreigners for ransom money. The kidnappings are often financially motivated, with reports saying gangs are believed to have made millions from ransom payments. Several countries have issued travel warnings for Haiti due to kidnapping concerns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.