On the same day that the United States issued a travel warning to Americans traveling to Haiti, an American nurse and her young daughter went missing.
Last week, the nurse and her child were abducted near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, as reported by the nonprofit organization where the nurse works, and her husband serves as director. The kidnapping has raised concerns as gruesome crimes and gang violence are escalating in the city.
The Christian humanitarian organization, El Roi Haiti, has identified the nurse as Alix Dorsainvil, while her husband, Sandro Dorsainvil, is the founder and director of operations in Haiti. Originally from New Hampshire, Alix worked as a nurse at the organization’s school in Port-au-Prince, which focuses on providing affordable education and faith-based teachings. The abduction occurred on Thursday morning at the organization’s campus while she was serving in their community ministry.
El Roi Haiti has expressed gratitude for the prayers and support they’ve received and assured that they are working with partners and trusted relationships to ensure Alix and her child’s safe return. The organization’s president, Jason Brown, described Alix as deeply compassionate, loving, and dedicated to Haiti, considering it her home and the Haitian people her family.
Federal officials in the United States have confirmed their awareness of the kidnapping report and are in communication with Haitian authorities. El Roi Haiti has requested the public to refrain from speculating on social media to protect Alix and her child during this time. They will be providing updates on their website as the situation unfolds.
The U.S. Department of State issued the following statement:
“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. We are aware of reports of the kidnapping of two U.S. citizens in Haiti,” a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement to CBS News on Friday night. “We are in regular contact with Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and our U.S. government interagency partners. We have nothing further to share at this time. Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Victim’s families have paid thousands of dollars to rescue their family members,” the State Department wrote in a news release. The department ordered all family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees in Haiti to leave the country as soon as possible “in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges.”
The State Department advises Americans not to travel to Haiti. The agency last updated its travel advisory for the country at the end of July, maintaining its Level 4 risk assessment — meaning “do not travel” — while noting that kidnapping in Haiti “is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens.”
This is a developing story.