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Mother of Army soldier detained in Russia reveals what she would write him in a letter


May 14, 2024

The mother of a U.S. Army soldier who has been detained in Russia after visiting a girlfriend tells Fox News Digital that if she could write a letter to her son, she would say “I love you, I miss you, [and] I hope you get to come home soon.” 

Melody Jones is speaking out as it is approaching two weeks since Staff Sgt. Gordon Black was taken into custody by Russian authorities in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. Black, 34, has been charged with criminal misconduct and is accused of stealing from his girlfriend. 

“I think he worries about shaming us, and I would tell him in a letter, no you haven’t,” Jones told Fox News Digital. 

She added that this past Mother’s Day without him was “really hard” and that she isn’t aware of his current condition. 


“We don’t hear anything, it’s bugging me,” Jones said. “What I understand, they have not been able to see him.” 

“It would be nice to know that he is OK. You worry about those things, being a momma,” she also said. 

A U.S. Army spokesperson, when asked by Fox News Digital this week for further information on Black’s situation, said “there are no new updates at this time.” 

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokesperson said last week that it is aware of Black’s reported arrest and detention and that the department has no higher priority than the safety and security of Americans abroad. 

Black enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in 2008 and has been assigned to the Eighth Army U.S. Forces Korea at Camp Humphreys in South Korea. He traveled to Vladivostok, Russia, “for personal reasons” prior to his arrest on May 2, the Pentagon says.  


The Pervomaisky District Court of Vladivostok said “When choosing the preventive measure in the form of detention, the court came to the conclusion that US citizen B. (Black) — under the weight of the charges — could hide from the preliminary investigation authorities and the court to avoid responsibility,” according to Reuters.  

It reportedly added that Black will be detained until July 2 for “secretly stealing the property of citizen T., causing the latter significant damage.” Russian officials in Vladivostok said a 32-year-old woman had filed a complaint against Black. 

Reuters cited the officials as saying that the pair met in South Korea before Black came to visit her in Russia, during which they became involved in an argument. She then reportedly filed a police report accusing him of stealing money and Black was taken into custody at a hotel. 

“On April 10, Black out-processed from Eighth Army and signed out on permanent change of station, to leave en route to Texas,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said last Tuesday. “However, instead of returning to the U.S., Black flew from Korea through China, and then to Vladivostok, Russia, for personal reasons.”  

The Army has opened an administrative investigation to determine the facts and circumstances around his travel, Singh noted, and part of the investigation will involve looking into consequences for his actions. 

Jones previously told Fox News that her son’s Russian girlfriend asked her for money shortly before her son was arrested on theft charges. 

Fox News’ Bailee Hill, Louis Casiano, Greg Wehner and Pilar Arias contributed to this report. 


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