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January 23, 2013

Slain hostage in Algeria described as a loving family man

NEDERLAND, Texas — Victor Lovelady liked working at the large Algerian natural gas facility. If there were dangers associated with Ain Amenas field in the Sahara, he didn’t give it much thought.

“He honestly wasn’t concerned about his safety and that really bothers me now,” said Erin Lovelady, his daughter. “I believe he was blind-sided.”

While explosions may have been a fear in the back of his mind, it was a rogue group with ties to Al-Qaeda that stormed the plant and took him hostage. When Algerian troops responded to the kidnapping , many of the militants and those taken hostage were killed, including Lovelady.

Lovelady was a native of Nederland, which is located in southwest Texas. He had lived in Houston the past two years when not in Africa.

His family described him as a smart, level-headed person. “If there was a way he could get out, he would,” his daughter Erin said. “He wouldn’t be the person crying and screaming and begging. He’d be calm.”

Besides his work, Lovelady also loved Africa and the people who lived there, often offering to help them with problems at their homes.

When asked who’s to blame for the death of Victor, his brother, Mike Lovelady, said he blames the terrorists.

He believes things might have been different if Algeria had allowed U.S. or British special forces to take over the operation while sparing the hostages.

“We feel it could have been handled differently,” he said. “Yea, we’re angry, but we’re not going to let it affect my faith in God.”

Right now Mike Lovelady’s goal is to find out how his brother died.

“Three Americans died there and my brother was one of them. Terrorists and Nederland, Texas, should not be in the same sentence,” he said. “I want to know how my brother died . . . I want closure.”

An autopsy will be performed when Victor Lovelady’s remains are returned to the U.S. Dental records have also been submitted, he said.

Victor Lovelady is also survived by his wife, Maureen, a daughter, Erin, and a son, Grant.

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Details for this sory were provided by The Port Arthur (Texas) News.

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