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Nantucket Man Released From Haitian Prison

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U.S. citizen Paul Waggoner waits outside court in a police truck in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010. Waggoner, who helped found medical aid group Materials Management Relief Corps in post-quake Haiti, was arrested Sunday and is being held while authorities investigate allegations he kidnapped a 15-month-year-old infant. Waggoner said the baby he is accused of taking died at a hospital with fever and gastrointestinal distress in February. (credit: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)

U.S. citizen Paul Waggoner waits outside court in a police truck in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010. Waggoner, who helped found medical aid group Materials Management Relief Corps in post-quake Haiti, was arrested Sunday and is being held while authorities investigate allegations he kidnapped a 15-month-year-old infant. Waggoner said the baby he is accused of taking died at a hospital with fever and gastrointestinal distress in February. (credit: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)

EXETER, N.H. (CBS) — An aid worker from Nantucket has been freed after being held for 17 days in Haiti on kidnapping charges.

“He’s out, he sounds good. I got the shakes,” said Esther Olson-Murphy, seconds after she got the news about her cousin.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports.

“It’s been three weeks since he’s been a free man. He’s free. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to call. I don’t know what the reaction’s supposed to be. Now I sit and wait and hope he calls home.”

In February, Waggoner was volunteering at a Haitian hospital treating earthquake victims when a 15-month-old baby died at the hospital. The child’s father took photos of the body.

“He had the pictures and took them to a voodoo doctor, or a witch doctor, who said, ‘Well, his eyes are open, he’s still alive.’ And the father believed him,” explained Olson-Murphy.

baby1 Nantucket Man Released From Haitian Prison

Frantz Philistin holds up an image of his 15-month-old son Keevins outside court in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010. Paul Waggoner, a U.S. citizen who helped found a group that provides medical supplies and transportation for aid missions in post-quake Haiti, is being held while authorities investigate allegations he kidnapped Keevins. Waggoner said the baby died at a hospital with fever and gastrointestinal distress in February. (credit: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)

The witch doctor said Waggoner had put the baby in a trace and was scheming to sell it later. Waggoner was eventually arrested, even though a doctor and a nurse witnessed the death, even making a coffin for the baby.

“The father placed Kiki’s body in the box. We wrapped it in a little sheet of plastic, and I created a flyer on the front that had his name,” said Anna Oakley, the nurse who was there.

Waggoner was held in an over-crowded Haitian prison raging with cholera. Despite all that he’s been through he released a statement saying the Haitian people should not be blamed.

“He wants to stay in Haiti, despite everything that’s happened,” said Olson-Murphy. “That’s what he wants to do.”

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