Sister of Ecuadoran hostage has little faith he'll come out alive

Wednesday, February 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Julie Bradley has little faith that her brother, David, will be rescued from the Ecuadoran kidnappers who killed her brother's co-worker and left his bullet-riddled body in an isolated jungle.

"I don't think the oil company is going to get him out,"

Bradley said of Tulsa-based Helmerich & Payne.

Bradley and nine other oil-field workers were kidnapped Oct. 12.

Helmerich & Payne officials asked family members not to talk to the media or anyone else to avoid disrupting negotiations and endangering the hostages.

But when Ron Sander's body was found last week, the silence was broken.

On Friday, Sander's widow, Sheila, told The Kansas City Star the oil companies must pay the ransom before more hostages are slain.

Of the four remaining American hostages, Bradley works for Helmerich & Payne; three work for Erickson Air-Crane Co. of Oregon.

On Tuesday, members of Bradley's family voiced their own concerns.

"We are ready for anything," Bradley said from Denver. "We have doubts he is even still alive. I don't have any faith in the oil company."

In October, company officials were in daily contact with Bradley's mother, who lives in Casper, Wyo. The contact dwindled to weekly calls, Julie Bradley said.

David Bradley, 41, began working for the company in October, his sister said.

David Bradley had worked all over the world for oil companies and decided he needed a break from foreign assignments. But after three or four months in Wyoming, he took the job with Helmerich & Payne.

"Money lured him down there," she said.

The kidnappers also abducted residents of Gold Hill, Ore., a Chilean, an Argentine and a New Zealander. Two Frenchmen who were seized at the same time escaped several days later.

The kidnappers initially wanted $12 million ransom, but that request was rejected. The kidnappers are believed responsible for December explosions in Ecuador that killed eight people and injured 19.