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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 September, 2003, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Parents await news of kidnap son
Mark Henderson
Mark Henderson is still missing in the Colombian jungle
The parents of a kidnapped North Yorkshire backpacker are still waiting for news of their son after a fellow hostage escaped from the Colombian jungle.

Mark Henderson, 31, from Pateley Bridge, was captured along with seven other backpackers on 12 September.

His fellow Briton Matthew Scott, 19, dived down a cliff in the Sierra Nevada region to escape the kidnappers, 10 days after being taken hostage.

He is now recovering from exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn and cuts at an army base in the north of the South American country.

Mr Henderson's parents say they are delighted for the Londoner's family and are now praying for their son - who had originally been due to arrive home from his trip on Thursday.

They are keeping strong faith and belief that he'll be home and hopefully sooner rather than later
Local vicar Peter Dunbar
Christopher Henderson said: "He was on his final leg and should have been home today.

"Matthew has said that Mark had been kind to him during the brief period they were in captivity together.

"We know Mark was fit and well at that time."

His wife, Sharelle, added: "We are just delighted Matthew is out and are hoping the other hostages will get out."

The community of Pateley Bridge have been pulling together since Mr Henderson's disappearance.

Local vicar Peter Dunbar, a close friend of the family, told BBC Look North: "We're just pleased and thankful because we have been lighting a candle for all of the hostages.

"They're very, very positive and very strong people, Sharelle and Chris, and they are looking at the positive side of everything.

"They are keeping strong faith and belief that he'll be home and hopefully sooner rather than later."

Local reports in Colombia said a massive manhunt involving up to 2,000 troops and several helicopters was under way in an attempt to trace the remaining seven hostages.

The military commander leading the hunt said he would be able to "readjust" the search based on Mr Scott's information.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has blamed the Cuban-inspired National Liberation Army for the kidnapping.

The rebels use ransom money to finance a four-decade-old guerrilla war

The BBC's Roland Buerk
"He was picked up by the Colombian army after walking into an Indian village"

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25 Sep 03  |  Americas
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16 Sep 03  |  North Yorkshire
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15 Sep 03  |  UK
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19 Sep 03  |  Americas

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