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Utahn Kidnapped in Iraq Speaks Out for First Time

Utahn Kidnapped in Iraq Speaks Out for First Time



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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Randall Jeppesen, KSL NewsradioTo listen to the full interview, click on the audio link to the right.

The Utahn kidnapped for over a week in Iraq is speaking out for the first time.

Will Van Wagenen was in Iraq working for a humanitarian group when the car he was in was stopped at a checkpoint. A gunman got in and told them to drive into the desert.

Will Van Wagenen, Kidnapped Civilian: "Maybe a minute of driving out into the desert, that's when we realized that, oh boy, I think we've got a big problem here. That's when I started getting scared and nervous."

Van Wagenen says he was taken to a house where he spent the next nine days in a room with a guard constantly at his side. He says trying to escape was not an option.

Will Van Wagenen, Kidnapped Civilian: "I'd think about ways to do it, but in the end I just thought it'd be too dangerous."

Van Wagenen says he was never mistreated. He says one night they put him in a car with another man and was told to drive in a direction toward a city. That's when he realized he was free.

Since being released he has no plans of going back to Iraq.

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