Freedom appears near for hostages


Thursday, February 15th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


(Quito, Ecuador-AP) -- Freedom may be near for seven hostages who were kidnapped from an oil camp in the jungles of Ecuador four months ago.

The group includes David Bradley, an employee of Tulsa-based Helmerich and Payne.

A second employee of the Tulsa company was killed by the kidnappers. The body of Ronald Sander was found on January 31st with five gunshot wounds in the back.

The head of Ecuador's military says the kidnappers have agreed to an unspecified ransom. Bradley's mother says Helmerich and Payne are helping her prepare for her son's return.

Jimmie Gimmeson tells an Oregon newspaper the company is helping her get ready for her son's re-entry but she doesn't know his condition.

In a written statement, Helmerich and Payne says recent events have led to greater optimism for the safe return of Bradley and the others.