Stewartstown family pleads for couple held by Taliban
The York County family of an American woman reported missing in Afghanistan in 2012 with her Canadian husband said they got a letter from their daughter in the last year, and they pleaded for mercy from the couple’s captors.
Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle lost touch with their families while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul. Her parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, told online news service Circa News that they received a letter from her in November 2015. It was four years Monday that Caitlan’s family last saw her and her husband.
“I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing,” the letter said.
Addressing Caitlan Coleman’s younger sister Claire directly, the letter continued, “Give my love to each member of the family, and share this letter with everyone. Claire, as silly as it sounds, I wish you were here with me. Mom, I’d love to hear about all your cooking in delicious detail.”
Caitlan Coleman also wrote she’d given birth to a second child in captivity.
It was the first communication from her since her parents received two videos in 2013 in which the missing couple asked the U.S. government to free them from the Taliban.
The couple set off in the summer of 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and then to Afghanistan. The Colemans last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Josh described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.
Speaking to Circa News from their Pennsylvania home, Jim Coleman issued a direct plea to top Taliban commanders to let the couple go and to be “kind and merciful” as the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.
“As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband and our beautiful grandchildren,” Jim Coleman said. “Please grant them an opportunity to continue their lives with us and bring peace to their families.”
Lyn Coleman told Circa News: “I really need to see my grandsons. I imagine them all the time, I imagine them and Caity all the time. … Every day is so hard, every day is so hard to get through.”
A message left for the Colemans by The York Dispatch seeking additional comment was not returned.