Authorities in Haiti say a Canadian missionary has been kidnapped and that his captors are threatening to kill him unless a $45,000 ransom is paid.

Officials say Ed Hughes was abducted earlier this week from an orphanage he heads just north of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

One of Hughes' associates from the orphanage, Nelson Ryman, says Hughes has not had contact with relatives for years and that there is no family to pay the ransom.

Authorities, meanwhile, say they conducted an operation in the town where Hughes was seized, freeing a kidnapped Haitian and arresting four people on Tuesday.

Officials say at least 44 people have been kidnapped in Port-au-Prince between April and June.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and is plagued by civil and political violence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.