Warren County reacts to the rescue of local woman

Jessica Buchanan (Source: CNN)
Jessica Buchanan (Source: CNN)

RIDGEVILLE, OH (FOX19) - Jessica Buchanan, 32, graduated 15 years ago from Ridgeville Christian School. The school shut its doors in 2007, and in Buchanan's graduating class was only 14 students.

Those who know her say she is a leader and was born to serve others.

"We were all really scared for her and prayed a lot," said Ruth Thomas, a family friend. "The people from the church the people from the former school, our bible study here. We have just been praying for her a lot.

Those prayers were answered Wednesday when Navy Seals rescued Buchanan from kidnappers in Somalia.

Buchanan is described as a leader in her class, involved in the orchestra, athletics and was an excellent student.

"She was always a go getter, and worked well with anyone she had a working relationship with, she was always a team player," said Roy Merrill, Buchanan's former teacher. "She always had it in mind she was going to serve people and do what the lord wanted her to do."

After graduating in 1997, Buchanan went onto graduate college from Valley Forge Christian School. In October of last year she was kidnapped, and government officials say during the three months of capture her health was deteriorating quickly.

Those who know her say Buchanan's strong Christian faith got her through.

"She was probably trying to convert them, would be my best estimation," said Merrill. "She was probably praying for them."

At the small church connected to the school, Ridgeville community members have a bible study, and thank God Jessica is safe.

"We are thrilled. We are thankful for those Navy Seals that were brave enough to do this mission and thanking God for keeping her safe this whole time," said Thomas.

Jessica is now safe with her father and two siblings. Her mother, who passed away a couple years ago, is undoubtedly grateful, too.

"She is smiling down upon the whole situation," said Merrill. "Glad her daughter is safe again."

Related Stories:

Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.