Raleigh bar owner back home after 10-day ordeal in Honduras

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh bar owner jailed in Honduras for five days and then kept in the country for another five days is back home.

Amanda LaRoque arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport shortly after midnight Thursday to a crowd of family and friends sharing hugs, balloons and flowers.

“Oh, I’m so excited to have her here. This is what I’ve been waiting for for days and days and days,” said LaRoque’s mother, Barbara Levy.

LaRoque went to Honduras to look for a place to retire. Honduran authorities jailed her after finding what they believed was cocaine in a can safe.

CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS OF AMANDA LAROQUE’S RETURN TO RALEIGH

After tests proved it was not cocaine, they released her and dropped the charges.

She said the district attorney plans to appeal that decision.

“I mean, I’m not going back, so I mean she can appeal all she wants and she can do whatever she wants. It’s not going to have a long-term effect on me. But, as far as it truly being over, it’s not over,” LaRoque said.

It took several days to get her passport back and LaRoque said she nearly didn’t get her passport back Wednesday.

She and her husband, Brandon, said they’ve seen the good and bad in people and that the ordeal restored their faith in the goodness in people.

“We went from being so excited that we thought we were, you know, getting ready to move and retire and move to our paradise. I hate it because we did find our paradise, but it ended up turning into a nightmare at the same time too,” Brandon LaRoque said.

The couple said there is no better place than the United States and they plan to stay. They credited Sen. Thom Tillis’ office for help in getting home.

Amanda LaRoque said Honduran officials kept her luggage.

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