December 17th, 2010
05:45 PM ET

U.S. monitoring kidnapping case against citizen in Haiti

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/12/17/haiti.american.jailed/story.waggoner2.mmrc.jpg caption="'A Haitian judge has decided that there's sufficient evidence to hold Paul Waggoner, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said." width=300 height=169]

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The U.S. is keeping close watch on the case of an American relief worker jailed in Haiti under suspicion of kidnapping a 15-month-old boy, the State Department said Friday, but it remains unclear whether the U.S. is working for Paul Waggoner's release.

"We have monitored his court appearances and continue to track the case closely," said P.J. Crowley, spokesman for the State Department.

A Haitian judge concluded after a hearing Wednesday that sufficient evidence exists to hold Waggoner while investigators evaluate a man's complaint that the American kidnapped his critically ill son from a hospital, according to Jon Piechowski, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti.

Waggoner is the co-founder of Materials Management Relief Corps, a humanitarian organization that seeks to provide logistical support to medical workers in Haiti, where a major earthquake caused extensive damage in January.

Waggoner was working at the Haitian Community Hospital in Petionville in February when a Haitian man sought treatment for his 15-month-old son.

Accounts differ as to what happened next, but the father believes the child survived and that Waggoner kidnapped him, Piechowski said.

Waggoner's supporters, including two physicians, have said the child died, and his body was cremated because the father would not claim the remains.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Becky Duff

    I travel to Haiti frequently, 5 trips this year....so if I am unjustly accused of kidnapping or killing someone (I am a health care worker) is my embassy going to help me? I say the US can do more to ensure Paul's release. This is not a time to be politically correct. Get that man out of jail. So far I can't even get an answer from the 2 great senators from Wisconsin regarding my concerns. This is a travesty of justice.

    December 18, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  2. hORACE

    Ignorance and superstition are a dangerous combination of factors to consider, when entering into any judgment about what a person might see, and might THINK HE HAS SEEN happening. There is a strong chance of misinterpreting almost anything one witnesses.
    If the alleged father of the child or someone he knows had possibly witnessed someone trying to keep the child alive, by giving it mouth-to-mouth recusitation, that might look similar to what can be seen in lots of vampire movies. If anything had been done to the large artery in the neck, in order to administer fluids or medications, maybe even whole blood, that could make the scene even scarier. Aren't vampirism and zombie states connected in most horror movies? I think someone saw something of a medical nature being tried to give emergency life-saving measures to this child, and they came to the wrong conclusion!

    December 18, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  3. Laurette Del Monte

    The U.S. Embassy needs to do more than merely "monitor the situation". I can do that from here. Our representatives in Haiti need to make daily personal contact with Mr. Waggoner and actively advocate his release.

    December 18, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  4. LaShawnda Wilkins

    This situation is very sad and disappointing.We Americans are always the first to respond to disaster stricken countries and places that are in need of help and this is the thanks we get.That man was there to VOLUNTEER his time (away from his own family) to help people that could not help themselves. There is no appreciation for life, love, or compassion in this world.This is the reason that lots of Americans choose not to help.This has got to be like a slap in the face.Many more of their people would be dead if not for people like Mr. Waggoner and the other Americans that perform these acts of kindness.

    December 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  5. Joann Regan Irwin RN

    Please continue to follow this situation....Pauls life depends on it!

    December 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  6. Fabienne

    Hello, all. Thank you, Anderson, for giving attention to Paul Waggoner's situation.

    December 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  7. Joann Regan Irwin RN

    Thank you so much for picking up this story! Paul Waggoner is doing incredible things in Haiti....and he is innocent.

    December 17, 2010 at 10:16 pm |