'Only Clues' About US Mom Held in Afghanistan Emerge

Family goes public with videos after Bergdahl release

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 5, 2014 7:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The release of Bowe Bergdahl has the parents of two others held hostage in Afghanistan going public with videos of the couple asking for help. American Caitlan Coleman and Canadian husband Joshua Boyle disappeared while on vacation in Afghanistan 20 months ago. Coleman was pregnant at the time. Then, in July and September a man saying he had Taliban connections emailed two videos of the couple to Coleman's father. At first, the family shared them only with law enforcement. But now they've given them to the AP to draw attention to the case. The AP calls the videos "the first and only clues about what happened" to the couple.

The brief videos show the couple sitting before nondescript backdrops, with Coleman wearing a black outfit covering all but her face. She asks the government to "do everything that they can to bring my husband, child, and I to safety and freedom." The AP notes that though Coleman mentions a child, one isn't seen in the videos and the families have no information on its name or gender. US officials say the videos prove the couple was taken hostage, but not that they're still alive, and that they provide no clues to their whereabouts. The Taliban has previously denied involvement in the kidnapping. "We do not know about these two foreigners," a spokesman said in 2012, according to the BBC. Boyle was previously married to the sister of a Guantanamo detainee, but officials say that's just a coincidence.

This frame grab from video provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.
This frame grab from video provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.   (AP Photo/Coleman Family)
This frame grab from video provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.
This frame grab from video provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.   (AP Photo/Coleman Family)
This undated handout photo provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.
This undated handout photo provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.   (AP Photo/Coleman Family)
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The AP talks with the parents of Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.   (YouTube/AP)
Excerpts from Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle's plea for help.   (YouTube/The Telegraph)

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