Stacey Addison was released from East Timor after a four-month “nightmare,” in what started as a simple taxi ride while on a world tour.
Addison, 41, of Oregon was on a leg of an around-the-world trip in the tiny East Asian country when she was arrested after a stranger, who was sharing a taxi with her, picked up a package full of drugs.
Apparently, the stranger asked the taxi driver to stop the taxi to get a DHL package. After getting back into the taxi, police surrounded the vehicle and arrested the occupants because the stranger’s package held methamphetamine.
On Thursday, Addison was released from an East Timor prison, nearly four months after her initial arrest and appeared before reporters Thursday at the home of former East Timorese President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta, who is hosting her temporarily at his home.
Addison has yet to leave the country because her passport has not been returned.
The U.S. State Department praised the decision, according to department spokesperson Jen Psaki, but confirmed that Addison remains in Timor-Leste where the government still retains her passport.
— WPTV (@WPTV) December 26, 2014
Neither she not Ramos-Horta would comment on the case at Thursday’s press conference.
When asked what she would do when do did receive her passport, she said she would “go home.”
“I don’t think my mom would ever forgive me if I didn’t come home immediately and stay for a while,” she said.
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) November 10, 2014
Addison’s mother, Bernadette Kero of Oregon, told CNN that the four-month ordeal has been a “nightmare.” On Thursday, she said her daughter’s release was “the best Christmas present I could imagine.
“The past four months have been an extremely stressful time for all of us,” Kero wrote in an email to CNN Thursday. “Of course we are now hoping that her passport will be returned and she will be able to return home to Oregon very soon.
“Her lawyer will work on getting her passport released. I just want to be able to see her and give her a big hug.”