Posted: Nov 4, 2012 10:09 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Nov 5, 2012 10:22 AM
ROCKPORT - A Rockport family says they're fearing the worst after their loved one was kidnapped in South Sudan. Rockport native, Elton McCabe has been in custody of sSudan's National Security Service, or NSS for about a week.
Family and friends say 52 year old Elton McCabe likes to go by his middle name, "Mark." After graduating from Rockport High School, Mark enlisted in the Marines then spent several years afterwards working overseas.
Cheryl Casterline, Mark's cousin said, "Big macho guy. You know, everyone loved him."
But then last December, Mark had a massive heart attack and has been looking for another way to make money for his family. Which is why in August of this year, Mark and a partner decided to start a construction business in Sudan to make some money rebuilding the war-torn country.
When on October 14th, Mark was arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Indian man.
"That was what they said. Which of course, turned out not to be true," Casterline said.
Mark and his partner were transferred to Juba Prison, which is run by the South Sudanese Police. After the officers looked into Mark's charges, it was decided that they were false and Mark was released.
Cheryl told me, "The minute they got released, walked out the door and the NSS got aware of the fact that, they re-arrested them."
Now, once again, a captive of the NSS, Mark's family worries that he is not getting the medication he needs for his heart condition and the pain of not knowing is absolute torture.
In a letter from the Division Chief for American Citizens Services in Africa, government officials said, "We remain extremely concerned about your husband's health condition...We will continue to press the government of South Sudan for answers and for due process for your husband."
Mark's wife Anne is taking it especially hard.
"Their wedding anniversary is on November 7th, they'll be married for 25 years," Cheryl said.
The family believes the NSS are holding Mark under the assumption that he is a wealthy American, which they say they are not. That, after all was the reason Mark went overseas to start a business.
For now, the family waits for word back from the government or from Mark himself, who they can only hope is still alive.
"He could be dead already. And we don't know. And we won't know until we see him get off that plane."
Elton "Mark" McCabe has a wife, 3 children and a grandchild, all waiting for his safe return.
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