Pastor, Congressman Grateful for Dunlap's Release

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There was an extra reason to be thankful at 15th Avenue Baptist Church in Meridian on Wednesday night.

Church member Candi Dunlap will soon return home and be reunited with her friends and family. Pastor Wayne Smith says continued prayer is to thank for this latest development.

"I don't know that we could be any happier than we are right now," Pastor Smith says. "The very first thing that we asked our congregation and the citizens to do which was pray that she'd get a judge that was kind and compassionate, evidently is exactly what took place."

Pastor Smith and Dunlap's family and friends aren't the only ones relieved. Congressman Gregg Harper says he is glad the situation has been resolved.

"We're very pleased that she has now been cleared," Congressman Harper says." We know what the situation is. She is going to be able to come home and we know that whatever else she has to do, she's able to do here."

Harper says he was in constant contact with Dunlap's husband Mark during the whole ordeal. As for how he feels Macedonian authorities handled the case involving the rare coins, Harper says it appears they followed the law there.

"I think they've handeld it consistent with the way they typically handle things," Harper says. "It's not the way we would handle things here, had it happened here in our state. We would have been able to have gotten her out pending an outcome of the investigation."

Pastor Smith says he believes Dunlap will be overwhelmed once she returns and realizes just how much attention her case received here. But he says it will be a while before things are completely back to normal.