Modesto Couple's Family Believed Captured by ISIS

A Modesto couple said their family members in Syria are believed to be among dozens ripped from their homes by ISIS this week.

Sharlet David and her husband, Romel, said that 12 family members, including Sharlet's brother, have gone missing from their village.

The United Nations said more than 100 Assyrian Christians were kidnapped by ISIS on Monday, as the militants clashed with Kurdish and Christian militiamen for control of villages in the northeastern province of Hassakeh.

"That happened Monday morning -- they attacked at 4 o'clock in the morning when they were all asleep," Sharlet David said. "And they took everybody, and we don't know if they're alive, where they are. We don't know. We haven't heard anything from them."

The Davids and their family in Syria identify as Assyrian Christians. Sharlet David said her 59-year-old brother had been living in Modesto but returned to Syria two years ago

Sharlet David said the waiting is hard and is praying that her brother, his wife and children and her aunts and uncles will be spared. She fears ISIS will use them as human shields or as victims for executions.

"We pray for mercy and we pray for intervention," Romel David said. "But we ultimately fear the absolute worst, the unthinkable."

Peninsula Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for his help in providing aid to the Assyrians. Eshoo is the only member of Congress of Assyrian descent.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Friday at David's church in Modesto.

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