MIAMI (CBS4) – A South Florida family is pleading for help after their son, a former Marine, was imprisoned in Mexico.
Jon Hammar, 27, was just driving through on his way to Costa Rica when he was stopped at the border, his parents said.
“One of the reasons we went public is because we’ve run out of answers,” Olivia Hammar said.
Hammar has not seen Jon since August, when the 27-year-old Westminster Christian School graduate decided an exotic trip would help heal some of the emotional wounds suffered during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Him and a buddy of his decided they were going to go on a surfing expedition. An endless summer to Costa Rica,” Jon Hammar Sr. said through tears.
So Hammar and a friend bought an old motor home, loaded up some surf boards and headed for the border.
Now, the former high school wrestler is sitting in a Mexican prison, accused of trying to bring a shot gun into the country illegally.
“They got it cleared on the U.S. side and were told they had all the paperwork and told to head on,” Hammar said. “But when they got to the Mexico side of the border they were told’ No, you’re going to jail’.”
Jon Hammar said his son took the shot gun, which has been in the family for generations, because they’d be camping.
Olivia Hammar fears for her son’s life every day. She gets choked up recalling the night she received a call from a drug lord, demanding money in exchange for her son.
The Hammars have worried in silence for months, until now.
They reached out to Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio this week, as well as Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
“We’ve written to the U.S. Ambassador in Mexico, the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, as well as the State Department asking them to get involved in the case and make sure his rights are not violated,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said.
Ros-Lehtinen said Hammar deserves his day in court and a fair and speedy trial.
The Hammars fear that’s unlikely, but hope sharing their story will get their son the justice he deserves.
“The same kid who wanted to spend three months on the beach in Costa Rica in a tent is chained to a bed in Mexico,” Olivia Hammar said. “I need to help him.”
The Hammars are asking you to write to your senators and representatives asking for their help for their son.