WHEELING W.Va. (WTRF) Only a week ago a group of missionaries were kidnapped in Haiti, several of those missionaries from Ohio. Ohio Senator Robert Portman says that he knows the U.S. Government is trying to help these people. 

He says he passed legislation at a committee that requires the Federal Government to do a better job at addressing these violent gangs in Haiti. This requires an inter-agency approach to this which means not just the state department but also law enforcement.  

We’ve got to get these people back. I would make an appeal to these criminal gangs who are holding them. These are people who are going to Hatti to help, and they were kidnapped at an orphanage. 

These kidnappers ought to be dealt with. There ought to be consequences and they ought to know these people they are holding, and harming are in Haiti to try to help the citizens of Haiti and have been doing so for years. They’re selfless and they are driven by faith and their need to provide help to the least of us.

Senator Robert Portman , Ohio

The Haitian gang has demanded $17 million in ransom for the hostages, which is said to include 5 children.  

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown says they are behind the professional in what they need to deal with this awful problem for those families, many of them from Holmes County and one from Guernsey County Ohio.  

Portman says that they pray for their safe return.