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SE Texas man killed in Algeria hostage standoff

By Juan A. Lozano

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 21 2013 6:30 p.m. MST

HOUSTON — The family of one of three U.S. citizens killed in a hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in Algeria said it will comment about their loved one's death Tuesday.

Victor Lynn Lovelady, 57, who was from Southeast Texas, was identified Monday as the second Texan who died in the standoff at the Ain Amenas gas field in the Sahara Desert.

His sister-in-law Wanda Lovelady declined to comment to The Associated Press when reached by telephone Monday. She said the family would speak at a news conference Tuesday in Nederland, where Victor Lovelady grew up. He had been living in Houston, about 100 miles west in Nederland.

Lovelady's family told KFDM television station (http://bit.ly/WbsOUN) that he felt safe working and living at the plant, where they had protection. His family said the job assignment in Algeria was a promotion.

The four-day standoff ended Saturday after Algerian troops stormed the complex. Algeria says 38 hostages of all nationalities and 29 militants died in the standoff. Three Americans died — Lovelady, Frederick Buttaccio, also of Texas, and Gordon Lee Rowan — and seven Americans made it out safely. Five foreign workers remain unaccounted for.

"He was a great father," his daughter, Erin Lovelady, told KFDM. "I have so many wonderful memories of my dad. He taught me the tools to live as an adult. He was very kind, loving and laid back. I could talk to my dad about anything. He gave great advice."

No one answered at the Loveladys' home in northeast Houston on Monday.

Neighbor Laura Holloway, who lives next door to the Loveladys, said she was shocked and saddened by the news of Lovelady's death.

"It's horrible, horrible," she said.

Holloway said Lovelady and his wife, Maureen, had lived in the middle-class neighborhood for the last 1½ years. Prior to that, they had lived in Beaumont — located near Nederland — and Lovelady commuted to Houston for work, she said.

"They're sweet people, good neighbors," she said.

Holloway said she and Maureen Lovelady would take walks in the morning. The last time she talked to Maureen Lovelady was on Friday, and at that point, Lovelady believed her husband might have been able to escape, Holloway said.

"She had thought everything was OK," Holloway said.

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