Ruppersberger Says Missing Md. Journalist Is In Libyan Custody

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– He’s alive and it’s confirmed. Libyan leaders admit they’re detaining Baltimore freelance journalist Matthew VanDyke.

Mary Bubala has the latest.

He disappeared in March in the middle of political chaos. As the uprising unfolded in Libya, VanDyke vanished.

But now– after months of searching– the Libyan government confirms VanDyke is detained in their country. The official word was given to Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who used any and every diplomatic connection and relation to find VanDyke.

“From the very beginning, we worked closely with the U.S. State Department,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “We tried to use every channel that we could to find an American citizen. The good news– we got a confirmation that he is alive.”

It’s great news for Matthew VanDyke’s mother, who flew all the way to Istanbul, Turkey in a quest to find her son.

“I went to the Libyan embassy and spoke to Gadhafi’s men because I thought if they have him, why am I wasting time talking to people who don’t have him?” said Matthew VanDyke’s mother, Sharon VanDyke. “So I went and I knocked on the door and they let me in.”
With Moammar Gadhafi still in power in Libya, freeing Matthew VanDyke remains a challenge. But there is hope.

“There is precedent,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “We know the Libyan government did release some journalists from New York City and we hope we will be successful and use the same strategy.”

Matthew VanDyke was born and raised in South Baltimore, and he still calls it home. He’s traveled extensively in the Middle East and at the time of his capture was working on a book about his experiences.

He has been missing since March 12.

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