Baltimore City

Baltimore man imprisoned in Libya to arrive at BWI Saturday

Matthew VanDyke — the Baltimore writer and filmmaker who was jailed in Libya for nearly six months and then remained to aid rebels seeking to overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi — is scheduled to return home Saturday.

VanDyke, 32, is set to arrive about 7 p.m. at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, said his mother, Sharon VanDyke.

He will leave Cairo on Saturday morning and fly to John F. Kennedy International Airport before coming to Baltimore, she said.

Sharon Vandyke, a retired principal of Federal Hill Preparatory School, said her son has been in Benghazi, east of Tripoli, since Sunday. "He wanted to see a couple of his friends before he left. He had to drive from Benghazi to Cairo, a 16- to 18-hour drive," she said.

She said she last spoke to him on Saturday.

As for big plans for his arrival, VanDyke said, "we will meet him at the airport and go from there." Since he's got a long drive, in addition to his 12-hour flight into JFK airport, she said she and Vandyke's girlfriend, Lauren Fisher, will wait and see what he wants to do.

"We want to talk with him first," she said.

But once VanDyke returns, his mother said, he's going to start writing his book and sort through the hours of video footage he collected for a documentary.

VanDyke went to Libya in March to support friends he'd made on a previous trip and to witness the country's uprising for his book.

"I'm glad he's coming home," his mother said. "We've been very proud of what he's been doing the past eight months."