Mass. Family Thrilled By Colombian Hostage Rescue

A Cape Cod native was one of the three U.S. military contractors freed during a daring rescue from their kidnappers in Columbia.

Thomas Howes' niece, Amanda Howes, says the rescue "redefines the word miracle.'' She says the family is looking forward to a reunion with her uncle after he returns to the U.S., possibly as early as today in San Antonio.

Thomas Howes, formerly of Chatham, and the two other contractors were taken captive by leftist rebels in 2003 after the crash of a plane they were flying over a suspected drug field.

In all, 15 people were freed during the rescue, including former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

Amanda Howes, a news assignment editor for WHDH-TV in Boston, said that during his captivity, her family had only seen photographs of her uncle that were released to prove that he and the other hostages were still alive.

This program aired on July 3, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


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