Colombian hostage from South Georgia may still be alive - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Colombian hostage from South Georgia may still be alive

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November 30, 2007

Colquitt - - There's new proof that a South Georgia man being held hostage in South America may still be alive. He was captured by a rebel group in Colombia almost five years ago, but Colombia's government broadcast new video Friday showing Keith Stansell and several other hostages.

"They look very different from the first video," says Charlotte Phillips.

Occasional videos and personal accounts have been the only proof that Keith Stansell is still alive. The Colquitt man was one of three military contractors kidnapped by a rebel militia group called FARC in Colombia.

"We just pray everyday and people in our community are still praying."

Charlotte Phillips is a friend of Stansell and his family. She says her small town can't forget the day almost five years ago when Stansell was taken hostage after his plane crashed during an anti-drug surveillance operation.

"Every week or so, 'have you heard anything, have you heard anything."

In May, one hostage who escaped confirmed Stansell was still alive.

Columbia's government aired video from guerillas showing Stansell and the other hostages.

"Lauren called this morning at 7 o'clock."

That's Keith's 19 year old daughter. His son Kyle was 10 years old when his father was detained.

"He is 6 foot 5 inches tall and he weighs 200 pounds. He's 15 years old."

Both have been anxious to not only hear their father is alive, but also to have him home.

"Every bit of news, it gives us something to hope for."

Hope that grew a little stronger today.

Stansell's children live in Florida now. Charlotte Phillips says they were glad to hear the news, but they're awaiting official confirmation that the video is authentic.

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