The mother of a journalist and Redondo Beach native who was released after being kidnapped and held hostage for nearly three years by Somali pirates said Wednesday she was “overjoyed” to learn of her son’s freedom.

“After two and a half years in captivity in Somalia he’s finally been released,” Marlis Saunders told ABC7 outside her Redondo Beach home. “We’re just all elated and overjoyed at the news.”

Saunders told the station she hopes to have a reunion quickly with her son, 45-year-old Michael Scott Moore.

Moore, who has U.S. and German citizenship, was living in Germany researching for a book about piracy when he was kidnapped. He was released Tuesday after the Somali pirates were paid a ransom reported to be $1.6 million.

Moore’s stepfather, Lou Saunders, told ABC7 that his wife was able to speak to her son briefly by phone.

“He said he was OK,” he told the station. “He has a little skin rash but other than that I don’t think he has any serious medical issues.

Lou Saunders said Moore is “probably very appreciative of all the help that he got to get him out of there,” but said he is also probably somewhat humbled “about having put everybody through it.”

Saunders said Moore is being given medical care in Nairobi, Kenya.

Moore grew up in Redondo Beach and attended high school in Manhattan Beach, ABC7 reported.

City News Service

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