Couple arrested for kidnapping 2 Amish sisters in upstate NY
Cops hauled in an upstate New York couple on Friday and charged them with kidnapping two Amish sisters who vanished Wednesday evening from a roadside food stand near the Canadian border.
Stephen Howells II, 39 and Nicole Vaisey, 25, of Hermon, N.Y. each face two counts of first-degree kidnapping for grabbing the girls in Oswegatchie, N.Y. just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain told the Daily News.
The girls were found around 8 p.m. Thursday after being dropped off in the hamlet of Richville, some 35 miles northwest of where they were abducted.
“The girls are home, they were checked out at the hospital last night,” Rain said. “They are fine.”
The Amish girls, 12-year-old Fannie Miller and Delila Miller, 7, were “extremely” instrumental to finding the perps, Rain said.
Authorities are now trying to learn more about where the girls were kept during the 24 hours they were missing. Rain spoke from the couple’s home at 1380 County Route 21 in Hermon, where investigators were searching the house.
“There is no one else involved that we know of,” Rain said.
Vaisey and Howells were busted after voluntarily coming in for an interview the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. Rain would not say if the couple admitted to the crime, but they were arrested around 8:30 p.m. at the end of questioning.
More information will be released at an 8 a.m. press conference in Canton, Rain said.
Howells and Vaisey face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the charges.
The girls were brought home from Richville after knocking on Jeff Stinson’s door, ABC News reported. Stinson recognized the girls and fed them watermelon and grape juice.
“They ate that watermelon in 30 seconds. It was fast,” Stinson told ABC.
He then drove the girls home and police were notified.
The sisters vanished Wednesday evening after a witness said a small, white 4-door sedan drove up to the roadside stand in Oswegatchie and its passenger got out and threw “something in back,” state authorities said.
Both girls were wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets and had just returned from milking and were helping a customer at the stand, authorities said.
An Amber Alert issued at 1 a.m. Thursday was cancelled just before 10 p.m. that night.