The Northwest Indiana Vidette-Times marks the Fourth anniversary of Jeff’s abduction:
LAPORTE | On the surface, Jeffrey Ake’s family members might seem as if they’ve moved on since his abduction by armed terrorists in Iraq exactly four years ago. But, with his status still unknown and family members choosing not to speak about the ordeal, only those close to the LaPorte businessman truly know what they’re going through.
Those close to the family said his wife, Liliana, continues to be very active in the community and doing her best to remain strong. “She’s continuing to be in that place of wanting for him to come home,” said Christina Daugherty, member and past president of the LaPorte Rotary Club, which Jeff and Liliana Ake also belong.
It was April 11, 2005, when the then-47-year-old Ake was abducted while working at a water treatment plant in Baghdad. An image of Ake flanked by armed terrorists soon was beamed on television screens across the world.
At the time, Ake was owner of Equipment Express, which since has been sold. The Rolling Prairie company manufactured machines that fill water bottles, and Ake, with his expertise, went to Iraq thinking he could do the Iraqi people some good.
Liliana Ake, once a homemaker, is now the breadwinner in her household. She works for Century 21 in LaPorte to support the couple’s four children. She also has a new address and in the telephone registry only her name is listed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s given up.
“She’s faithful he’s coming back. That’s the impression she gives. Whether she really feels that way, I don’t know,” Daugherty said.
Another LaPorte Rotary Club past president and former Mayor Leigh Morris says well-wishers can do Ake and his family some good by never forgetting, offering encouragement and continuing to keep them in their thoughts and prayers. He said the Ake family has often looked to the heavens to deal with the situation as best as can be expected. “I think the absence of their strong faith this would become a more hopeless situation,” Morris said.
Wendy Osborne, an agent with the FBI office in Indianapolis, said the kidnapping of Ake is still an active case. But, since the FBI works with law enforcement agencies and military authorities in other countries, Osborne said she could not be specific about any findings.
“We have no evidence to suggest that he’s not alive. We’re still hopeful of returning him to his loved ones,” Osborne said.
Truth in advertising: I used to attend church with Jeff and Liliana Ake at Liberty Bible Church in Chestertpn Indiana. I’m not sure I’d know them from Adam. But, as they say, “There but for the Grace of God go I . . . ” Like Jeff, I investigated going to Iraq as a civilian contractor after the invasion in 2003, but couldn’t go form medical reasons (my diabetes.)
We’ll keep praying for ya, Jeff.