Austin man slain in Haiti; family starts GoFundMe to bring body home

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of an Austin man who was killed in Haiti is pleading for help as they struggle to bring his body back to Austin.

On Aug. 12 Vanessa Bissereth said goodbye to her God uncle, not knowing it would be the last time she would see him.

Christian Daniel, 65, left Austin to Haiti that day for his yearly visit. He had lived in Austin since 1994 when he immigrated with his wife, Vesta. He would go to Haiti to help feed the village his mother was from and help with maintenance regularly. 

He arrived in Haiti the following day, Aug. 13. Daniel had not been in Haiti for an hour when he was attacked by two gunmen, Bissereth said. Daniel was able to fight off the men and grab their gun, but as he was trying to run away, another gunman emerged and shot him in the head, Bissereth explained.

Daniel’s family found out about his death because one of the gunmen took a photo of his body and circulated it throughout the village community.

Heartbroken, Daniel’s family in America is now struggling to transport his body back to Austin. Bissereth said Haiti does not cremate bodies because it is against their religion so the full body has to be transported back, costing the family $25,000.

That is why Bissereth is doing all she can to bring awareness to her uncle’s death. She created a Go Fund Me to raise the money, plus she’s even petitioning for President Donald Trump to intervene and help bring Daniel’s body back.

“He’s been in America his whole life,” Bissereth said tearing up. “It kills me that this happened to him.”

The family has one week left to come up with the money.

Daniel leaves behind his wife, his 20-year-old son, Don Daniel, who is a student at the University of Texas at Austin and a 14-year-old daughter, Kristine Daniel.

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