Family prays for return of Slidell man captured in South Sudan - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Family prays for return of Slidell man captured in South Sudan

The family of a Slidell man abducted in South Sudan is desperately pleading for his release.

Elton "Mark" McCabe was taken on October 14 while working as a project manager in the African country, which formally broke away from Sudan in 2011.  Anne McCabe, his wife of 25 years, is trying to stay strong.

Anne explained, "I didn't hear from him and I just had that connection like something's wrong. Then, the days went by and then October 14th, I think is a Sunday and that Thursday I got a phone call from the embassy."

Anne says she was told her husband was arrested and charged with kidnapping an Indian businessman.  It's a charge Anne calls ridiculous.

"They have no proof, no person... they didn't show a warrant. They didn't even notify our embassy that they had taken an American citizen," Anne McCabe said.

Anne has spoken to Mark several times since he was arrested.  He tells her he's been beaten and tortured, and for the first five days of his capture, wasn't receiving his heart medication. Last year, Mark suffered a massive heart attack.

He's being held in the town of Juba. Anne is now working with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to get him released, but it's not an easy process.  

His capture is taking a toll on his family.  Mark's daughter Whitney said, "I have really good friends who come over and they do prayers for us and I want to thank them… for being there for our family and everyone's been very generous and helping our family out."

Anne McCabe says Mark will go to trial on Thanksgiving Day on the kidnapping charge. "He told me that it's already being rumored in the prison that the judge is either being paid off or threatened to find him guilty," Anne explained.

She's hoping that isn't true and praying that someone will be able to help bring her husband home.

Anne McCabe is working with Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu to get this situation resolved. 

Vitter told FOX 8 in a statement, "I've been working with the McCabe family, the U.S. Embassy and the State Department to get Mark released to the Embassy on humanitarian grounds. While we're working to make sure Mark receives due process and fair treatment, his health and safety are top priorities that my office will continue to focus on."

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