Today marks two months since the fire and robbery. Despite having paid the negotiation to the lawyers of the rental agency two weeks ago I’m still unable to leave the country. I’m currently awaiting the federal prosecutor to officially dropped the charges. Initially I was told everything would be cleared as early as last week. Yesterday I returned to the northern coast to inquire as to why things are taking so long. Along with my lawyer I went directly to the Department of Justice. We were informed that the federal prosector for my case is currently “on vacation”….frustrating to say the least! My lawyer inquired about having another prosecutor to review my case in order to expedite the process. We spoke with another and she stated that there’s nothing she can do and that I must await the return of the one assigned to my case.
This obviously left me annoyed and with many more questions. As I asked over a dozen questions to my lawyer and members of the Justice Department, I was told that there still remains a possibility the prosector could pursue the charges against me since it is a public case. Upon hearing this I definitely became scared. My lawyer immediately debunked that statement and told me not to worry.
So what’s to expect next? On Monday I will return to the Justice Department in Puerto Plata will my lawyer. Hopefully my assigned prosector will return from vacation. If/when he decides to officially lift the charges we have to return before the judge. I’m told then I will be able to leave. I am hoping this can be all done as soon as early next week. In the mean time I’m trying to stay calm, faithful and optimistic.
Thanks for your continued support and prayers!
Happy 1st day of February! I can’t believe that it will be almost two months ago that the fire took place. A lot of people are wondering if I’ve returned back to the States. I’m currently still here…still playing the waiting game. On Friday the 24th of January my lawyer and I met with the lawyers of the rental agency. I gave them the money negotiated and they gave me a notarized document dropping all charges. The reason for the delay in the exchange of money was due to money gram. Long story short, when my lawyer and I went to retrieve a transfer from my parents the bank here stated that the money was “already paid out”. They later admitted a system error and told me it would be 3 business days to get. That ended up being over a week.
Now that we have the document dropping charges, I’m waiting for the judge to sign off. Initially I was told that it would be as early as Wednesday. However, my lawyer just called and said it would take longer. I’m not sure why but they keep reiterating that “you’re not in the US”…meaning things just take time. I’m trying to be patient, strong and faithful all at the same time. So it looks like the earliest I can get a flight will be next week.
I continue to appreciate your support, thoughts and prayers! I’m optimistic that this chapter of my life is coming to a gradual end and I’m looking forward to moving forward.
Good afternoon, everyone!
I would like everyone to know that currently I have left the northern area of Cabarete where I lived and am staying with a friend’s family in Santo Domingo. I feel a lot more safe here and I’m surrounded by caring individuals. To date I’ve raised approximately $3,700 which I plan to help use for negotiations by next week. I appreciate each and everyone who continues to share my story and who have contributed financially. I do have a planned flight for the 14th , and if all goes well with the negotiations, I look forward to returning back to US soil. Due to many of your phone calls to different resources, I finally got a call back from the US Embassy yesterday. It was a representative of the American Citizens Services here in Santo Domingo. I gave her an update and permission to contact the Dominical legal authorities to get an update of the investigation. Aside from that, I have been contacted by several media outlets in both the US and here. I hope by continuing to share my story will not only free me of any criminal and civil charges but also help other travelers to be alert and prepared when traveling abroad.
I would like to thank all of you for your concerns and kind words. I’m overwhelmed beyond belief to be in this situation and more so by your support. Despite the situation, I’m reminded that there are still GREAT people in the world and humbled by the power of community. To date I’ve raised approximately $2,000.
The rental company is asking for $10,000 to settle the case. My goal is to raise and offer $6,000 by the end of the week. I continue to have faith and applaud all of your individual efforts. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly by phone 809-615-5741. I wish each and all a safe and happy beginning of the new years.