NY couple arrested in Amish girls' kidnapping

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm •  Published: August 15, 2014
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A northern New York couple was arrested Friday in the kidnapping of two Amish sisters from their family's roadside farm stand.

St. Lawrence County's District Attorney Mary Rain said Stephen Howells II, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, both of Hermon, were each charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping.

She said they were in custody awaiting arraignment Friday night and additional charges are possible. Both will have lawyers, but no pleas will be taken or bail granted, the prosecutor said.

Rain declined to discuss a motive for the abduction or provide any other specifics about the suspects. She said information provided by the girls helped lead to Howells and Vaisey. The suspects' home is about 13 miles from where the girls live.

"The suspects agreed to go to the sheriff's office to be interviewed earlier today and they were arrested after those interviews," Rain said.

The sisters vanished Wednesday evening in Oswegatchie, touching off a massive search in the farming community near the Canadian border.

They turned up safe Thursday night at the door of a house 15 miles from their home.

Authorities had been tight-lipped about details, including what happened to 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller while they were missing. And Rain said Friday she would not release more details before a news conference with the county sheriff Saturday morning.

Searchers had scoured the farming community of about 4,000 people, in a hunt hampered by a lack of photos of the girls for authorities to circulate. The Amish typically avoid modern technology, and the family had to work with an artist who spoke their language, a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch, to produce a sketch of the older girl.

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