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Grandfather returns home after months in Mexican jail

  • Story Highlights
  • 88-year-old from Washington state spent two months in jail
  • His son remains imprisoned after disagreement over photos
  • Older man caught flu in jail, spent time recuperating in Arizona
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(CNN) -- An elderly grandfather was greeted with hugs and kisses from his family in Washington state after returning home from months of what he called false imprisonment in a Mexican prison.

Edward Chrisman, left, crosses the Mexican border into the United States after being freed in March.

Edward Chrisman, left, crosses the Mexican border into the United States after being freed in March.

Ed Chrisman's wheelchair was pushed toward his cheering family members Monday at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for the highly anticipated reunion, CNN television affiliate KOMO reported.

The 88-year-old's ordeal began in January, when he went to Mexico with grandson Gary Chrisman Jr. for inexpensive dental work, family members said.

The pair ran into trouble in Algodones, Mexico. At a convenience store, the younger Chrisman went inside to buy soft drinks while his grandfather waited in the car.

The younger Chrisman had been photographing the area and approached a woman in the store about snapping shots of her daughters. He offered them $25; they agreed, and he took a few pictures of the teenagers' faces.

At that point, the Chrisman family says, the mother demanded more money from Gary Chrisman, he refused, and she called authorities, alleging that he had tried taking pornographic pictures of her daughters.

Both men were arrested, but the police report does not say why the elder Chrisman was arrested.

A Mexican judge ruled that Ed Chrisman could be released based on his age and health, KOMO reported.

The grandson remains in a Mexican jail, awaiting trial.

Ed Chrisman, of Arlington, Washington, was released in early March. But he caught the flu in jail and was recovering in Arizona.

He described wretched conditions in jail, family members said, including rats that were large enough to drag away a guard dog's puppies.

"It was really rough going to prison when you had never been there before," Chrisman told KOMO. "Without any facilities. Without any food for three days. Or water. Or anything."

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