Keithville man detained in Guatemala returns

Published: Nov. 22, 2017 at 3:07 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2017 at 9:31 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The man detained in Guatemala for months is now back home in the ArkLaTex.

Zack Wilson, of Keithville, arrived at Shreveport Regional Airport around 2:30 p.m.

Wilson's family posted on Wednesday morning that he was en route back home to the ArkLaTex.

In a Facebook post in the Bring Zack Home public group, Lisa Wright Wilson said:

Update: We are expecting Zack home today! God is so good! Thank you Jesus!
He is on a plane right now to the US! 
We will update more soon!

KSLA News 12 crews were there at the airport when Wilson returned and was finally reunited with family and loved ones.

"It didn't even seem real until I stepped on U.S. soil in Dallas and it's slowly becoming even more real," Wilson said. "I'm ready to hug everybody's neck here."

Wilson passed through the terminal straight into a crowd of dozens of friends and loved ones cheering and waving American flags.

"After all the planning and misplanning and, all of a sudden, it comes to fruition so it's great. It's really great," Wilson's friend, Jerame Johnson, told KSLA.

Wilson was only supposed to be in Guatemala for a week in March but was not allowed to leave the country. He was detained at the airport after ammunition was found in his backpack during the screening process at the airport, which his family says was a mistake.

For Wilson's friend J.W. Brookshire, who was on that mission trip with him, he hated to be forced to leave Wilson behind.

"You lost a family member, pretty much," Brookshire said. "I mean, it's heartbreaking to not know what's going on. I mean, that was probably one of the biggest things but he's here now."

In September, Representative Mike Johnson and Senator Bill Cassidy met with the ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala Manuel Alfredo Espina Pinto to discuss Wilson's case.

"A lot of work went into this," Rep. Johnson told said during Wilson's return. "t was a real diplomatic mess, to be honest. We would obviously have preferred to have him back many months ago but what an appropriate Thanksgiving it is. It's one that this family will never forget."

For Wilson, he said what makes this Thanksgiving so sweet is being reunited with his wife and children and being greeted by dozens of others he never expected.

"My time in prison, I could only call my wife a few minutes a day so, in my life, there was only just the few minutes of contact with her and I had no idea there was so many people out there that were supporting me," he said.

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