A man from Wichita, Kansas who was held hostage for 31 days in Iraq in 2016 while working as a private military contractor and suffered in captivity has died at the age of 49 due to complications from his ordeal.

RELATED: A toddler is the only survivor in a crash that killed 4 people

Russell Frost’s family made the announcement this week and they described him as an “exceptional man” and a “pillar of his family.”


Frost’s daughter Amanda said that her father died Thursday at home.

On Jan. 15, 2016, Frost and two co-workers, Amr Mohamed and Waiel El-Maadawy, were abducted in Dora, a mixed neighborhood that is home to both Shiites and Sunnis. Iraqi officials said they were in good health when they were handed over to the U.S. Embassy the following month — on Feb. 22, to be exact.

But Amanda Frost says her father lost more than 40 pounds in captivity because of dehydration and malnutrition, which caused kidney problems.

The Wichita Eagle detailed other ways in which Frost suffered during captivity.


“His hands were tied together with several zip-ties, which cut off circulation to his hands and dug into his wrists until they bled,” the report reads. “His captors shoved a rag over his eyes and face and wrapped packing tape so tightly around his nose that he had to gasp for each breath. The zip-ties around his hands were eventually replaced with heavy chains.”

Although the Frost family had hope that its loved one would recover after additional surgical procedures, the damage done to Russell Frost’s kidneys proved fatal.

“He was battling kidney issues,” Amanda Frost told the Wichita Eagle. “It was one battle after another. He had multiple surgeries but — his insurance — he wasn’t given enough and his kidneys appeared to be failing on him.

Russell Frost is survived by his wife Tammie, three daughters Amanda, Crystal and Madison, and his grandson Brixton.

RELATED: Las Vegas shooting survivor Roy McClellan killed in hit-and-run

A GoFundMe campaign has been started by the family to help pay the costs of Frost’s funeral.

Here’s what his daughter Amanda wrote there:

This gofundme goes to help the family of Russell Frost. This exceptional man was the pillar of his family. He meant the world to all who knew him. In January 2016, my dad was kidnapped in Iraq and held captive for 31 days. In February 2016, our family received a miracle and our father was released. Upon returning home, he suffered myriad of health issues due to his captivity. While waiting for insurance to approve a kidney surgery, my father passed away in his sleep from cardiac arrest. My mother and sisters need all the help they can get as my father was the main source of income for his family. My dad was the best. He would do anything he could to help a friend or stranger. He was loved by so many and his absence has created a massive void. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you so much!

The GoFundMe, at the time of this writing, has raised $7,300 of the $10,000 goal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
View More Articles