- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) - The family attorney for an Ohioan detained nearly six months in North Korea says the man’s wife screamed in delight Tuesday at the news he has been freed.

Attorney Timothy Tepe said Jeffrey Fowle was able to later call his wife himself on his way home. The suburban city where he formerly worked said in a statement that Fowle was expected home Wednesday. No details were made public, and Tepe declined to comment on plans for Fowle’s return.

Tepe said after he got word from federal officials of the release from North Korea, he called Fowle’s wife Tatyana: “She screamed when I told her. I can tell you Tatyana is very excited.”

Tepe didn’t have any details on where Fowle subsequently called his wife from. Both she and the attorney were told Fowle appears to be in good health.

“She is ecstatic, excited, use whatever word you want,” Tepe said.

The State Department announced Tuesday that the 56-year-old Miamisburg resident was released, nearly six months after he was taken into custody after leaving a Bible at a nightclub. He had been awaiting trial.

Two other Americans who have been convicted of crimes in North Korea are still being held.

The State Department said a plane had taken Fowle to Guam on the way home, and he had been checked out medically.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, hailed the news and offered prayers for Fowle and his family and thanks to those involved in his release.

“I’m pleased that Jeffrey Fowle is returning home to his family and can close the chapter on a horrific ordeal in North Korea,” Portman said in a statement.

The suburban Dayton city where Fowle worked as a streets department employee terminated his employment last month.

“We’re delighted to hear the news and look forward to him returning to the community and his family,” David Hicks, Moraine’s city manager, said Tuesday. He didn’t discuss Fowle’s employment.

The Dayton Daily News reported last month that the city said Fowle’s termination included $70,000 in severance pay and the ability to be reinstated.

Tepe said at the time that the city had “bent over backwards” to accommodate Fowle and his family.

Fowle’s wife Tatyana is from Russia, and had made a written appeal on her husband’s behalf to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tepe had said in August that she was “very upset” when Fowle told AP reporters in North Korea that he was facing trial and was worried.

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AP National Security Writer Lara Jakes in Washington and Associated Press reporter John Seewer in Toledo contributed.

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Contact the reporter at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell

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