The family of Caitlan Coleman, who was pregnant and went missing in Afghanistan in late 2012 along with her Canadian husband, was sent two videos last year as “proof of life” and asked the U.S. government for help in freeing them from their Taliban Captors.
The videos are the only clues about what may have happened to Coleman and her husband, Joshua Boyle, after they disappeared 20 months ago when traveling in the mountains near Kabul. American authorities investigating the pair’s disappearance believe the videos to be authentic but say they really don’t offer any clues as to their whereabouts.
The email files were emailed to Coleman’s father last July and then in September by an Afghan man who says he has ties to the Taliban but hasn’t been in contact with them for months. One of the videos shows Coleman, dressed in a black garment that covers everything but her face, pleads to “my president, Barack Obama” for help.
In a different video, 28-year-old Coleman is seen saying “I would ask that my family and my government do everything that they can to bring my husband, child and I to safety and freedom,” while she’s seated behind her husband.
In light of the exchange involving Sgt. Bergdahl, the family has decided to go public with the tapes in hopes it would bring attention to their missing loved ones. The families are disappointed that the couple and their grandchild weren’t released as a part of the same deal that happened over the weekend, but are holding out hope that the U.S. and Canadian governments will secure their release in the near future.
Heartbroken, the families say that even though their relatives don’t have military or political ties they should be recognized as prisoners just as Bergdahl was and not further penalized for venturing into dangerous territory.
The videos are both less than two minutes long and feature the couple seated with just a cloth draped behind them. Investigators say that they don’t offer any distinct clues or any evidence as to where the couple are being held.
However the videos do share a striking resemblance to those that were released by the Taliban of Bowe Bergdahl. Although investigators warn that even with the similarities it’s not definite that the couple is being held by the terrorist organization.
“Just seeing her and seeing her face and hearing her, while it was very difficult, it was also something that relieved a lot of ambiguous anxieties and the fears,” said Coleman’s mother, Lyn.
Coleman refers to the child she gave birth to while being held captive in the videos, although the child doesn’t appear in any of them. The grandparents have no idea what its name or gender is, only that it should be about 18 months old.
“It’s an event that just stands out. I think it cries to out to the world. This can’t be. These people must be let go immediately,” said James Coleman.