Rockport Family Concerned About Relative's Detention in Sudan

A Rockport woman said she is afraid for her cousin's life, after he was detained and held against his will in a Sudanese prison.

At last report, 52-year old Elton McCabe, who went to Rockport High School, is still being held in Sudan, and the U.S. State Department is said to be concerned.

Cheryl Casterline is extremely worried about her cousin and his well-being. Right now, all the family knows is what they are being told by the State Department.

"We don't know how he's been treated, except for the fact of being in the dark and no food, no due process, no nothing. They didn't take him before magistrate. They didn't do anything," Casterline said. "One guard did tell him, 'give me $10,000 and I can make this all go away.'"

According to a letter from the State Department, Elton Mark McCabe was arrested by South Sudan's National Security Service on Oct. 14, along with an Iraqi national.

According to family, McCabe is an ex-Marine and contractor who went to South Sudan in August to do business with an Iraqi partner. McCabe had a heart attack last December, but since being detained in South Sudan, was reportedly denied access to medicine for his serious heart condition by the officers who arrested him.

The State Department is reportedly extremely concerned about McCabe's health condition.

"My fear is that he might already be dead," Casterline said. "We don't know that. We don't know anything. You know, we're getting all this from this ambassador, and you know, if they are radical people and if they really did want money and he's telling he didn't have money, then we're afraid."

McCabe was reportedly detained over allegations of extortion and kidnapping with the intent to murder, but the State Department letter says no charges were formally filed.

Family members said U.S. Ambassador Susan Page is meeting with the president of South Sudan on Tuesday about this issue. Meanwhile, our calls to State Department officials were not returned.


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