MINNEAPOLIS - Cindy Hickey had rehearsed what she would say to her son when she finally got to talk to him months after he was detained in Iran. When the time came, the conversation lasted only about a minute, she said, "so it was hard to say a lot."
But Hickey came away from the phone call hopeful that her son, Shane Bauer, and two other Americans held for nearly eight months in Iran will be home soon.
"The next time I hear his voice I'd like it to be in person," Hickey, of Pine City, Minn., told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The families of Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal also said they received calls Tuesday and all three reported being well. In a statement, the families called the conversations "a tremendous relief."
Hickey said it was "exciting to hear this voice after not having his condition confirmed for over four months."
"The first thing he said was: 'Mom, this is Shane. I love you, I miss you, I'm strong. How are you?'" Hickey said. "I answered: 'I'm strong, I'm determined, it's not going to end until you're home.'"
Hickey said Bauer, 27, asked how everyone at home was doing and expressed concern for his two sisters.
"He sounded strong. He was talking very fast," said Hickey, who said she assumed the call was monitored. "He sounded determined. It was very good to hear that strength in his voice."
The families say Bauer, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, were hiking in Iraq's northern Kurdistan regio... >>>
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