The family of Caitlan Coleman, an American woman held captive in Pakistan for five years with her husband and three children, is speaking out about the group’s release — and the husband’s decision to take Coleman to the country in the first place.
On Wednesday, Pakistan secured the release of Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, along with their three children — all born in captivity. The family spent five years in terrorist custody after being abducted during a hiking trip in Afghanistan.
Coleman’s mother, Lynda, said it was “incredible” to hear from her daughter after all these years.
“It was incredible. I’ve been waiting to hear that voice for so long and then to hear her voice and have it sound exactly like the last time I talked to her,” Linda told ABC News.
However, Coleman’s father, Jim, said that although he’s grateful that his wife and grandchildren are free, he can’t help but be angry with Joshua.
“Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place, to me and the kind of person I am, is unconscionable,” he told ABC.
The couple was abducted in 2012 while traveling in Afghanistan and have been held by the Haqqani network, which has ties to the Taliban, in Pakistan, the Associated Press reports. Coleman was seven months pregnant at the time of her abduction and gave birth three times while in captivity.
Upon their release, Joshua reportedly refused to board a U.S. military plane out of Pakistan and instead took the family to his native Canada.
“I don’t know what five years in captivity would do to somebody, but if it were me and I saw a U.S. aircraft and U.S. soldiers, I’d be running for it,” Jim told ABC.
During their time in captivity, the family appeared in several videos in which they pleaded for help from the U.S. government.
A video sent to their families last January showed the couple’s 4-year old son dressed in dirty clothing and sitting on his father’s lap, according to ABC News. Boyle said the conditions of their captivity had improved around the beginning of the year, and he even made some jokes.
Trump announced the family’s release in an official statement on Thursday.
“Today they are free. This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan,” he said. “The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region.”