Thomas Hamill has escaped.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – American hostage Thomas Hamill was found by U.S. forces Sunday south of Tikrit after he apparently escaped from his captors, the U.S. military said.
Hamill, 43, of Macon, Miss., who had been held since an attack on a convoy April 9, was “in good health,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt.
Kimmitt said U.S. military units were patrolling a petroleum pipeline when Hamill, a truck driver for a subsidiary of the Halliburton Corp., approached and identified himself.
Tikrit is about 90 miles north of where the convoy attack occurred.
“Mr. Hamill apparently escaped from a building,” Kimmitt said. “He has spoken to his family. He is now ready to get back to work.”
In Macon, Hamill’s wife, Kellie, said she received a call about 5:50 a.m. telling her that her husband had been found alive. She said it was “the best wakeup call I’ve ever had.”
Kellie said one of the first things she did was to wake up their children.
“There has been a lot of praying and I am so grateful to everybody,” she said. “We’re all so relieved, so excited.”
She said she had no idea when her husband would be returning home or when she would be able to see him.
“I want everybody know he’s been found,” she added. “I’m going to be shouting it from the rooftops.”
Hamill was among seven employees of Halliburton subsidiary KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root, missing since an April 9 attack on their convoy west of Baghdad. The bodies of four of the employees have since been found. …
The day after his abduction, Hamill’s kidnappers released video footage of him standing in front of an Iraqi flag. A spokesman off camera demanded that U.S. troops end their siege of the city of Fallujah, where four American civilians were killed and mutilated last week.
“Our only demand is to remove the siege from the city of mosques,” a spokesman said in a tape given to the Al-Jazeera television network. “If you don’t respond within 12 hours … he will be treated worse than those who were killed and burned in Fallujah.”