Officials: US citizen of Haitian descent killed by robbers after departing capital airport


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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — An American citizen of Haitian descent was killed last week by armed robbers shortly after arriving in her impoverished Caribbean homeland to visit relatives, friends and officials said Thursday.

The U.S. State Department on Thursday identified the victim as Myriam Saint Germain. The U.S. Embassy in Haiti said it was touch with the dead woman's relatives.

Saint Germain lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and had worked as a health assistant at Harvard University the last five years. She had two children.

Officials with Haiti's national police declined to provide information about the investigation into the killing.

Saint Germain was apparently killed by gunmen last Friday, not long after arriving at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. Friends say she was heading to the town of Les Cayes to visit family.

Last month, the U.S. Embassy noted an increase in the number of travelers who had been robbed shortly after departing the Port-au-Prince airport.

In a June 18 security message to American citizens, the U.S. Embassy said most victims reported that they were "followed by armed individuals on motorcycles shortly after leaving the airport and robbed of cash and other portable valuables."

Family friend Jacques Jean, president of a Massachusetts learning center where she volunteered her time and money, described Saint Germain as a "very wonderful person."

"This is a shock for me and all here who knew her," Jean said in a Thursday phone interview.

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