Family members of a South Florida military veteran jailed in Mexico are stepping up pressure to free their son so he won't spend Christmas behind foreign bars.
Jon Hammar, 27, hasn't been seen since August, when he and a friend set out in a Winnebago on a road trip headed for Costa Rica with plans on surfing.
Days after he drove off, his parents learned the former Marine landed in a Mexican jail, charged with carrying an illegal weapon.
"I ask you to continue to pray for him, we got a call from his last night, he's just in a really tough situation because it's public in Mexico at this point so we're praying you'll pray for his protection and his quick release," his mother, Olivia Hammar, said a news conference Thursday.
The Hammar family was joined by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and other politicians who are calling on federal agencies to intervene and help free Hammar, who once worked security details for Afghanistan's president.
"Bring Jon Hammar home for Christmas is our motto," Ros-Lehtinen said.
Olivia Hammar said the weapon found was a rifle he uses to shoot birds. "In addition to being somewhat helpless, he is enraged," she said.
"He goes to register it and he gets arrested for his trouble," Ros-Lehtinen said. "They have made this into such a huge issue."
Ros-Lehtinen said she has written a letter to Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano and others asking them to intervene on Hammar's behalf. Already 25 members of Congress have signed the letter, she said.