Minnesota son taken prisoner by Russians while fleeing Ukraine as mother grieves it’s her ‘worst nightmare’

The family of a Minnesota man say their son was detained by Russian authorities.
The family of a Minnesota man say their son was detained by Russian authorities.

The family of a Minnesota man says their son was detained by Russian authorities as he was trying to flee .

Tina Hauser said that her son, 28-year-old Tyler Jacob, was detained by the Russian military at a checkpoint in northern Crimea while trying to take a bus to Turkey. Jacob had been teaching English in Ukraine since November and lived in Kherson with his wife and her 11-year-old daughter, the distraught mother told .

‘My worst nightmare is coming true, and I’m fearful that they are going to torture him and kill him, and I’m not ever going to see my son again,’ Hauser said.

The US Embassy in Moscow told Hauser that her son is the second US citizen to be taken by Russian troops during the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘It’s been very stressful, I break down and I cry at random times,’ she said. ‘I’m hardly sleeping, I hardly eat, I’m constantly thinking of him and I’m worried.’

Hauser last spoke to her son on Saturday morning when he was being forced to board a bus out of Kherson with all other foreigners.

Jacob’s father, John Quinn, shared his fear that his son will be used as a pawn for Russia propaganda, after he showed up featured on Russia media.

‘They eventually made a video with him as the subject about how well they were treating the prisoners over there, it’s heart wrenching,’ Quinn told the local affiliate in Minnesota.

Since Jacob was the only American aboard the bus headed to Turkey from Kherson, he was the only one who ended up being detained, his father said.

US officials have warned that the Russian government could arrest American citizens and use them as leverage in the war. Americans had been urged to leave Ukraine in January ahead of Russia’s invasion.

Jacob’s family reached out to US officials and the US Embassy in Moscow for assistance.

In a statement, US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said, ‘My heart goes out to Tyler’s family and we will do everything to locate him. My office is working with the State Department and the US Embassy in Moscow to find him and resolve this situation as quickly as possible.’

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