Quake Victim's Mother Travels to DC

By Shane Allen
|  Monday, Jan 25, 2010  |  Updated 12:50 PM CDT
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Dramatic Photos: Earthquake Aftermath in Haiti

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A Fort Worth mother trying to find her son in Haiti will travel to Washington, DC on Monday with the hope of getting some of her unanswered questions answered.

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A Fort Worth mother trying to find her son in Haiti will travel to Washington, D.C., on Monday with the hope of getting some of her unanswered questions answered.

Sally Baldwin's 35-year-old son, Brendan Beck, is feared to be trapped in the Hotel Montana after it collapsed during the earthquake in Port-au-Prince earlier this month.

Thousands are dead and many more are injured, but Baldwin and her family are still hopeful Beck will be among those that have been pulled from the rubble alive.

Beck's father, his brother and best friend have returned back to the United States after spending nearly a week in nearby Santa Domingo to try and get closer to the situation. Plans to make the trek into earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince were scrapped due to safety concerns.

Baldwin said a conference call she attended Saturday with the US State Department was disappointing.  She said the government has plans on where to put the bodies of Americans located in the destruction, but they don’t have plans on identifying or transporting those bodies.

“I can’t speak highly enough of all the search and rescue teams who are on the ground,” Baldwin said Sunday as she packed for her trip to DC.  “It’s the state department that’s lacking.”

Baldwin will arrive in D.C. at 6:30 p.m. Monday and will be talking to every congressperson and senator she can before her scheduled departure at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday back to DFW.  She wants the state department to be held more accountable and provide quicker answers to the hundreds of American families who are in her position.  Baldwin said she just wants to know that her son will be safely and appropriately returned to the US once he is found.

Beck is from Florida, but most recently resided in Washington, D.C.  Baldwin is also from Florida, but currently lives in Fort Worth after getting a job with Lockheed Martin. 

Beck wasn't even supposed to be in Port-au-Prince when the devastating quake struck.  Baldwin said her son's connecting flight to a city on the northern part of Haiti was cancelled.  That forced Beck and five other colleagues he was traveling with to book hotel rooms to stay the night in Haiti.

Baldwin said Beck is a civil engineer for a company for Solimar who was contracted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to analyze infrastructure in northern Haiti.

Matthew Beck, Brendan's brother, said Brendan sent an email to family that was time stamped just nine minutes before the quake began.  The email simply stated that he made it to Haiti safely.  Matthew also said in an email to DFW that his brother was chatting with his girlfriend just seconds before the quake began.

Brendan's 35th birthday was just three days after the Haiti Earthquake.

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