Home / Top Story / Caitlan Coleman survived Taliban captivity with thoughts of home

Caitlan Coleman survived Taliban captivity with thoughts of home

The American woman held hostage by a Taliban group for five years thought of home during her brutal captivity, she told her hometown newspaper.

“So much of my childhood and even 20s were spent in York county, it has shaped me, and my fond memories helped to brighten some of the dark days,” Caitlan Coleman, a Stewartstown, Pa., native, emailed the York Daily Record.

Coleman is currently at a hospital in Toronto, after arriving more than a week ago with her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, and their three children, who were born in captivity.

She was rushed to the hospital a few days after the family arrived for an unspecified reason. Coleman told the Daily Record she’s doing well and hopes to be released soon, but condemned the media attention directed at her.

Ex-Taliban hostage rushed to hospital days after rescue

“Why don’t I have the right to just be myself and be with my husband and children?” she asked during the email exchange.

Boyle, who initiated the exchange with the Daily Record, has been more public about what happened. He said Coleman was repeatedly raped, and their captors killed an infant daughter they had.


Joshua Boyle is seen with one of his children after arriving in Toronto. The family were all held captive in Afghanistan.

(Lars Hagberg/AP)

Coleman told the paper she wasn’t ready to detail the horrors.

“Everybody says ‘No, you have to come out and talk about it’, but no, no I don’t and everybody nice has said it’s my choice and I can talk when I want, and to whom I want,” she emailed.

Hostages continued having kids while held captive in Afghanistan

Her remarks are the first she’s given to media since being freed nearly two weeks ago.

Coleman was pregnant when she and Boyle were kidnapped while hiking through Afghanistan in October 2012.

They remained hostages until earlier this month, when they were rescued in a joint mission between the U.S. and Pakistan. Some of their captors were killed during the shootout, Boyle has said.


Boyle and Coleman were kidnapped by a Taliban group during a hiking trip in Afghanistan.


Throughout her five years she thought of York County, where “Good friends and great times are not forgotten, even now.”

Family held hostage in Afghanistan set to undergo medical exams

Her father, Jim Coleman, recently traveled to Toronto with his wife, Lyn, to visit their daughter, he told the Daily Record.

It’s unclear, however, if or when Coleman plans to return to Pennsylvania.

“Right now it’s too soon to know what long-term plans will be,” she wrote the newspaper.

“But if we do find ourselves in York, I can’t wait to share with my children some of the beautiful experiences I had there.”

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