LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Lansing native and U.S. Navy veteran is back on American soil.

On Thursday, 35-year-old Taylor Dudley made his way across the Polish border and into the arms of his mother Shelley, and supporters, including former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson who played a key role in making him a free man.

As the work carried on for more than six months to get Dudley home, not many people knew what was taking place.

“The negations are often private simply because it gives the State Department and other organizations working on behalf of that individual the opportunity to work with the diplomatic counterparts who are in those nation states to work through the details of the detainment and potential release, and to do that outside of public review or judgment,” Shawn Turner, the former Director of Communication for U.S. National Intelligence and Professor of Strategic Communication at Michigan State University said.

Turner said those working on behalf of detainees must be careful when working with foreign adversaries, not only for the sake of the person imprisoned but their families as well.

“They will construct a narrative around why they are holding a particular U.S. citizen. Now, it’s very difficult for us to determine the validity of that narrative. But to the degree that individuals may believe that those people being held did something against the laws of another country or something that might embarrass the United States. In this case, the Richardson Center will consult those families on the importance of making sure that they don’t say or do anything publicly to compromise the negations that are ongoing,” he said.

6 News is still working to figure out why Dudley was in Russian custody in the first place.

Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said that he and his organization are still working on the safe return of Michigan native Paul Whelan.