2 Suspects arrested in kidnapping of Amish girls in New York state
HERMON, N.Y. - A man and a woman were arrested Friday in the kidnapping of two Amish girls abducted from their family farm stand in northern New York state, authorities said.
The girls were reunited with their family after they were apparently released Thursday evening.
CBS affiliate WWNY identified the suspects of Stephen Howells II, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, who live together in the town of Hermon. They were each charged with first-degree kidnapping. A neighbor described the suspects as boyfriend and girlfriend, and said three children also live in the home.
Investigators were searching that home Friday night, Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain told Syracuse.com.
The Amish sisters, 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, vanished around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a car pulled up to their family's farm stand in Oswegatchie, a rural town on the Canadian border, about 130 miles north of Syracuse. The girls had gone to serve customers at the farm stand while the rest of the family was in the barn, tending to the evening milking.
An Amber Alert was issued and a massive search was launched. Since the Amish do not take photographs, authorities had no photos of the girls to distribute. The family worked with a sketch artist to produce an image of the older girl.
About 24 hours after they disappeared, the girls turned up at a home in Richville, some 15 miles from their home. WWNY reported they had been driven to the area, told to get out of the car and stay put. Instead, they ran to a nearby home and asked for help.
Authorities said Friday the girls were safe at home with their family.
Investigators were releasing no details about what happened to them but Rain said she planned to hold a news conference Saturday morning.