Paul Waggoner, the American relief worker jailed in Haiti this month under suspicion of kidnapping a 15-month-old boy, was released Wednesday evening. Waggoner, a co-founder of Materials Management Relief Corp, a group that provides support to medical workers in Haiti, spent the past eighteen days in a notorious national penitentiary in Port-Au-Prince, even though no charges were ever formally brought against him. He had been working at a community hospital where a young child died and was cremated when the child’s father reportedly returned to the hospital with a “witch doctor,” claiming his son was still alive and had been kidnapped, despite a death certificate. Upon his release, Waggoner told CNN (where Anderson Cooper 360 has followed the story closely) that a judge had found “contradictions” in statements from the late boy’s father, who Waggoner said was extorting him.
The strapping young man from Nantucket obviously has no plans to stop saving children, despite having been unfairly locked up: “I wouldn’t say that anybody needs to have second thoughts about coming down here [to Haiti],” he said. “If any aid workers want to do work in Haiti they should absolutely do it. The people here need it.” And now, let us all collectively swoon.