LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Lansing native and U.S. Navy veteran is a free man, after being detained in Russia for nine months.

His name is Taylor Dudley.

Dudley was reunited with his mother, Shelley on Thursday, thanks to the help of The Richardson Center, the organization that helped negotiate his release. 

“What was worth it for me was seeing Shelley look out the window of the border control area,” said Bill Richardson, former U.S. Governor of New Mexico. 

Dudley and his mother, along with Richardson, spoke to the media this morning in Washington. Richardson talked about the moment Dudley was released. 

“She kept staring and looking, to see when he would come out,” said Richardson. “The look in the eyes when she saw Taylor, and the embrace that took place is worth it for us, for me, for our organization in pursuing these efforts.”

Dudley was detained by Russian police in April 2022. He was attending a music festival in Poland when he went over the border into Russia. It’s not clear why.

“The plight of Taylor Dudley was an intolerable nightmare for him, for his family, and for every American,” said Steve Menzies, Founder of the Steve Menzies Global Foundation.

At today’s press conference, Dudley decided not to speak. Officials said he is still getting reacclimated to freedom.

“The Russians did the right thing in releasing Taylor,” said Richardson. “I think in this very sour Russian/American relationship, mainly over Ukraine, the way to break through is in through humanitarian cases, through the return of citizens from both countries.”