9th Haiti Volunteer Freed; Returns to U.S.

The ninth of ten American volunteers who were jailed in Haiti on child abduction charges was freed and landed in Miami Monday night.

Charisa Coulter, 24, was released by Haitian judge Bernard Saint-Vil who ruled that there was no evidence to support charges of kidnapping and criminal association against her.

Now only Laura Silsby, the leader of the American Christian team, remains in the Port-au-Prince jail. The other eight American volunteers were released Feb. 17.

"I'm very happy that she (Coulter) left today, and for her freedom, and expect mine to come soon," Silsby told The Associated Press after the court hearing on Monday.

The team of ten American Christian volunteers, mostly from two Baptist churches in Idaho, were arrested in late January while trying to take 33 Haitian children by bus to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.

Haitian authorities later charged the Americans with child kidnapping and criminal association.

Though Coulter is free and back in the United States, her father Mel Coulter says his daughter has mixed feelings about leaving Haiti.

"It is good news, but it's tempered," Coulter said. "My daughter has left her best friend behind."

Officials will continue to investigate the case against Silsby. Judge Saint-Vil said he found inconsistency in her statements and is working with authorities to resolve them.