Haitian native in Hardeeville trying to find family

Jean Laguerre
Jean Laguerre

By Jaime Dailey - bio | email

HARDEEVILLE, SC (WTOC) - The number of injured, dead or missing continues to climb in Haiti after a 7.0 earthquake hit the Caribbean island on Tuesday.

For many Haitians living in the US, getting in touch with relatives has been very difficult, especially for one Haitian native now living in Hardeeville who is desperate to find his family.

Seeing the images of the devastation in Haiti is tough Jean Laguerre.

"I was in shock when I first saw it on the news and when I sat down and really watched what was going on, I know that's my country, that's my people," said Jean.

Since he found out about the tragic earthquake, Jean has been on the phone trying to track down his brother Latineau, sister Viergeaimain and stepmother Emmacula Mathias.

"It's just devastating to me," said Jean. "I try to get in touch with my family the last couple of days and I can't get in touch with them. I know they're living in the west part of the country behind the palace. When I look at the palace I saw the palace just going down, I know something is wrong and they're not far from the palace."

He says not knowing is the worst part.

"I don't know if they're alive or what happened to them, that's my big concern," said Jean. "When I'm watching the news, I'm hoping I see a friend of mine or somebody that knows, but so far nothing."

Jean moved to Hardeeville years ago to help support his family in Haiti after his father got sick, but now feels helpless as he waits for answers.

"Everything is gone if I can't get in touch with them because I know I'm the one who supports them, doing everything for them and now I can't talk to them," said Jean.

During our time with Jean, he was able to get through to the State Department hoping they could help locate his family.

"I'm still looking can't get in touch with them," said Jean.

They  gave him a number to call, but still nothing after several attempts to get through.

"I'm just somehow hoping I could get in touch with somebody," said Jean.

For information about recovery efforts, donations and information about locating a family member in Haiti, click here.

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