May 6, 2019

Todd Leininger Returns To Indiana After Five Years In Venezuelan Prisons

Family and friends greeted Todd Leininger and his mother Barbara at the Indianapolis airport over the weekend.  - Steve Burns/WFIU-WTIU News

Family and friends greeted Todd Leininger and his mother Barbara at the Indianapolis airport over the weekend.

Steve Burns/WFIU-WTIU News

A Bloomington man who was imprisoned in Venezuela for five years says he’s taking things one day at a time now that he’s back in Indiana.

A group of family and friends greeted Todd Leininger and his mother Barbara at the Indianapolis Airport over the weekend, holding signs that said “We love you” and “Welcome home, Todd.”

Venezuelan authorities recently released Leininger from prison, although a court ordered his release back in November.

Leininger says he’s thankful for all the people who advocated for his freedom.

"I owe a lot gratitude to all the people who have been praying for me and doing many, many things to help me get out," he says. "Because I know that all of those things worked together to make sure I’m home right now and thus I’m alive."

Leininger's familiy worked with the State Department and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Indiana) to try and get him out of prison. A senior Venezuelan official characterized the release as a gesture aimed at improving U.S. relations.

Leininger says he’s not sure what the future holds, but he’s looking forward to rebuilding his life in Indiana.

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