An American who was detained in Moscow last week on a spying charge is the brother of a Vineyarder.

The New York Times and other news outlets reported over the weekend that Paul Whelan was detained by Russian authorities while in Moscow to attend a wedding, and has had a criminal case opened against him.

Mr. Whelan is a Marine Corps veteran and the brother of Elizabeth Whelan, a Chappaquiddick resident and Island artist.

Ms. Whelan declined to comment but emailed a family statement to the Gazette Wednesday that said:

“We have read reports of the arrest in Moscow of Paul Whelan, our son and brother. Paul is a former Marine and was visiting Moscow to attend a wedding. We noticed that he was not in communication on the 28th, which was very much out of character for him even when he was traveling. We learned of his arrest on Monday morning after his detention was picked up on newswires and have contacted Congressional representatives, the U.S. Embassy, and the State Department. We are deeply concerned for his safety and well-being. His innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected.”