Friend: Taliban hostage ‘looks like she’s been through a lot’


STEWARTSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – A friend of a Pennsylvania woman held captive by the Taliban says she looks like she’s been through a lot.

Julia Johnson spoke to news station ABC27 Wednesday after a new video appeared showing Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband, and their two children. In the video, the couple begged their governments to intervene.

“She was just a very upbeat and friendly person,” Johnson recalled of the friend she met through their church. “She was just one of those people you could talk to about anything and very caring. She loved people. She wasn’t judgmental at all.”

The couple was kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman, of Stewartstown, Penn., has told her family she gave birth to the children in captivity.

“None of us knew she was pregnant when she left and it’s just – because our kids would’ve been able to grow up together and would’ve been friends,” Johnson said.

“I’m trying to stay positive about it,” she said. “It’s kind of hard only hearing bits and pieces every now and then, whenever there’s a new update.”

Coleman’s parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” they took comfort in seeing their daughter and grandchildren looking healthy. It was the first time they saw the children.

“You just want to reach out, you know, and hold them because – and that’s very difficult,” Lyn Coleman said.

They said they’re hoping President-elect Donald Trump will broker the family’s release if President Barack Obama doesn’t succeed before he leaves office.

“I do believe that either the President will get her home before he leaves or will set in motion a process that the next President can do it,” Jim Coleman said.

“I would like it to be tomorrow,” Lyn Coleman said. “I would like it to be before Christmas.”The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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