WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An Oregon veterinarian, who had been stuck in the small Southeast Asian country of East Timor since September, is now heading home. Dr. Stacey Addison was travelling alone when she says she unwittingly shared a taxi with a stranger carrying methamphetamine, and was detained by police. She was released in December, but couldn’t leave the country because her passport was confiscated during the drug investigation.
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) praised the diplomatic efforts to return her passport and bring her home. "This is terrific news for Stacey, for her family and for all the Oregonians who have followed Stacey’s story and supported her from afar." Senator Merkley added, "A huge thanks to Karen Stanton, our US ambassador to East Timor, who has worked tirelessly to secure Stacey’s release from prison. A huge thanks as well to East Timor’s Ambassador to the United States, Domingos Sarmento Alves, and to other officials in East Timor who facilitated this wonderful outcome. Stacey, welcome home!"
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) echoed Merkley's thanks, "I’m thrilled and relieved to know Stacey is finally coming home from Timor-Leste to her loved ones in Oregon. Huge thanks are in order for Ambassador Stanton and everybody at the State Department who worked long, long hours to bring this situation to a successful conclusion for Stacey."
Congressman Greg Waldon (R-Hood River) spoke with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry over the past couple of months, regarding Dr. Addison's situation. He said Tuesday morning, “I am very pleased and relieved that Stacey Addison has been allowed to leave East Timor and is on her way back home to Oregon. This is excellent news for all of us who worked to help Stacey win her freedom, especially her mother Bernadette Kero of Klamath Falls, and her large circle of family, friends, and supporters.” Dr. Addison boarded a plane on the first leg of her journey home, late Monday.