Dad says teen who escaped Filipino captors is hero

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - The father of a 14-year-old boy who escaped from suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in the Philippines says his son is a hero.

Heiko Lunsmann says he is proud of his son, Kevin. He tells WSET-TV that the last five months have been difficult for the Campbell County family.

Police officials say Kevin escaped Friday and wandered without shoes for two days in a southern Philippine jungle before villagers found him. He is expected to be reunited with his family soon.

Kevin, his mother and a Filipino cousin were vacationing with relatives on an island near Zamboanage City when they were snatched July 12. The mother was freed two months ago and the cousin escaped last month.

Heiko Lunsmann says friends gave him strength to hope during the ordeal.