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Local Family Stuck In China After Security Scare At Consulate

By Bobby Sisk, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Ralph and Cheryl Antonelli had planned to head to Logan Airport Wednesday night. Those plans changed Monday when they heard from their daughter Tracy in China. “I was shocked,” Cheryl said. “I mean I was devastated and the look on her face. I mean Skype is a wonderful thing, but I could see her face and she was heartbroken.”

Monday morning, Tracy Antonelli went to the U.S. Consulate General’s Immigrant Visa Unit in Guangzhou, China. She had to leave her newly adopted daughter Rosalie’s passport there and was told to come back Tuesday to pick up the child’s visa. “When they left they found out about an hour later, they’d found a white envelope with a white substance,” Ralph said. The scare of the white powder shut the office down as police began to investigate.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones Reports

Tracy and her husband Patrick , their 3 ½ year old Emmiline and 2 ½ year old Rosie are stuck. “All these children are special needs children including my grandchildren and they have issues that they, I mean the new one the little one was supposed to be at Children’s Hospital this Friday,” Cheryl said. The children have thalassemia, a blood condition that requires transfusions. Emmy, whom the couple adopted from China in January of last year, has an appointment next week.

“Tracy’s understanding is somewhere around 60 families affected by this. They’re all from all parts of the country and even Canada that are just sitting around waiting for word,” Ralph explained. It’s been frustrating to get little or no information and to wait it out in a hotel room.

“I just want to hold them. I just want to touch them. I just want to have them here in the flesh,” said Cheryl, who’s only seen her new granddaughter in pictures and through Skype. “I should be cooking for them right now,” she said. Ralph added, “Them being at Logan Airport, that would be the best thing.”

A message on the U.S. Consulate website in Guangzhou says The Immigrant Visa Unit is closed through Friday, May 17th. The Antonelli’s say their daughter has no idea when she’ll be able to get back in the office and then book their trip back home. “It’s kind of a day to day thing as first she heard Wednesday and Thursday and then she heard it would Friday they’d be closed and that’s the last she heard,” Ralph said.

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