61 responses to Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made)
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    George
    Comment on Two Amish girls abducted in New York (August 14th, 2014 at 00:38)

    Two Amish girls abducted in New York

    I prayed that the two sisters will be found alive and unharmed.
    Please do likewise.

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    Comment on Prayers for the Girls and Their Family (August 14th, 2014 at 02:07)

    Prayers for the Girls and Their Family

    Our hearts and prayers go out to the girls and their family. Prayers for a speedy and safe recovery.

    Just a month ago my wife and I stopped at an Amish family homemade baskets shed-shop within a Swartzentruber community. The children (5 of them, all under the age of 13, I think) ran out to ‘wait’ on us, while the parents remained busy inside. The kids were all eager and smiles and eating up the attention we gave in just interacting with them. I could see how naivety to the evils of this world coupled with such innocent interest in outsiders could make these very easy targets. So very sad.

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      Comment on May not be such easy targets (August 14th, 2014 at 15:05)

      May not be such easy targets

      That may be true. However there are factors in their favor protecting them in ways others might not be.

      Given their large families, there are a lot more eyes potentially on the lookout per household in Amish communities. It was an Amish person who gave the description of the vehicle.

      In rural areas you also have a lot fewer vehicles passing by to take note of, vs. a suburban or urban area. And the Amish do cooperate with the police, as this sheriff notes about even this very conservative group.

      Word gets out quickly in Amish communities, which can help if there is someone odd or suspicious about. Everyone knows everyone else, and they talk frequently (not like my suburban neighborhood at all).

      This may all increase the chances of someone being caught. It seems most if not all of the crime-against-Amish stories we’ve been seeing lately end up with the perpetrator in custody.

      Following this, I also think a lot of Amish parents will be talking to their children about being careful around strangers.

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        Comment on Agreed..., and sketch question (August 14th, 2014 at 15:48)

        Agreed..., and sketch question

        Oh, I totally agree that there are a number of factors that are on the plus side. As one who regularly takes pictures of Amish homes and other things, only to get home and look at the images and find that there were Amish eyes watching me (that I was unaware of), I totally see your point. My point was only that I could see how it would be easy in some cases to take advantage of the children themselves.

        I was watching a clip about the investigation. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-search-missing-ny-amish-girls-24974954) It said that (obviously) there were not photographs of the girls to help the search. The police were allowed to make a sketch of the older girl, but not of the younger. That one has me a bit baffled — and I would appreciate anyone’s thought on it. My reasoning is that if it’s wrong for one, then it’s wrong for both; if it is a concession in order to help the girls with the one, then it would be even more helpful to have both. Is there something here that I’m not seeing?

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          Linda
          Comment on Thanks for updates (August 14th, 2014 at 16:33)

          Thanks for updates

          Don, do you think it might have anything to do with the scar on the younger girl’s forehead?

          Erik, thank you for these updates and the sketch! The second video “is not currently available,” it says.

          • Hmmm, not sure why it’s not showing here.

            It’s still up on the station website: http://www.localsyr.com/story/d/story/raw-interview-the-st-lawrence-county-sheriff-discu/22725/Xa9hyRLg2E2mS64VV_FfVQ

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              Linda
              Comment on Video working, one sketch, prayers (August 14th, 2014 at 18:16)

              Video working, one sketch, prayers

              Sorry to bother you. Yes, it is working. I clicked on the arrow and it started.

              Maybe one sketch is sort of a compromise for the family, on one hand having zero photos, but not wanting two sketches.

              Prayers for the girls, their parents, law enforcement, and the softening of hearts of the possible abductors.

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          Comment on Scars? (August 14th, 2014 at 16:43)

          Scars?

          Guess I’ve missed or overlooked any comment about a scar. But it would seem that an identifying mark like that would be even more helpful. And I noticed that the spokesman specifically stated that it was the *police* and not the family that were releasing the sketch. Sounded to me that there might be religious beliefs involved in that as well.

          • Don I just saw that, that they only wanted to do the sketch of the older girl. I am puzzled by that as well. The decision came from the family:

            “He added that it was the family’s decision to not have an artist’s rendering of their younger girl.”

            http://abcnews.go.com/US/search-missing-amish-girls-complicated-cultural-barriers/story?id=24985109

            (Note: this comment edited to remove identifying details, since the girls have been found)

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              Comment on Oh, okay... (August 14th, 2014 at 16:57)

              Oh, okay...

              Okay, I saw the description, but apparently read over that last part too fast. Thanks.

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          Comment on The Sketch... (August 14th, 2014 at 16:52)

          The Sketch...

          Here is the sketch of the older sister:

          http://www.cbsnews.com/news/police-release-sketch-of-new-york-amish-girl-feared-abducted/

          The accompanying article tells that the family decided to allow the sketch of the one “out of concern for their daughter” — noticeably NOT plural. It then states that the family didn’t allow the other daughter to be sketched “because of their beliefs” — with the differences left unexplained.

          Reading the article highlighted a new twist (in my mind). The younger girl apparently speaks on PA Dutch, while the older girl does speak English. Inability to understand what is being said all around her probably intensifies the problem for the little one (although, I suppose in some ways it might also insulate her from knowing some things being discussed).

          • That’s interesting Don. I have been reading various articles trying to pick up more on that.

            I wonder if it wasn’t just a compromise on the part of the parents–we don’t want images but we’ll do a sketch one of the girls under the assumption that they are together and that might be enough (though that wouldn’t necessarily be the case).

            I’m just glad the second sketch wasn’t necessary. I also hope nothing was done to these girls in the roughly 24 hours they were gone. Hopefully the abductors lost their nerve for whatever plans they might have had, or somehow had a change of heart. The emotional trauma of being stolen from your family must be immense just by itself.

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    Lori Farrar
    Comment on Prayers for the girls and their families (August 14th, 2014 at 05:39)

    Prayers for the girls and their families

    I will put the amish girls and their families on the prayer list at church. It is a crying shame that their are creeps out there like that. I hope that they are found safe and alive. Those fanilies do no wrong they just live their according to their beliefs just like my family. We were brought up to respect other peoples values and beliefs. Lori

  • Prayers for their safe return.

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    Kim
    Comment on Amber Alert (August 14th, 2014 at 07:29)

    Amber Alert

    Thank you for sharing…I live in New York and posted on Facebook.

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      Comment on Amber Alert (August 14th, 2014 at 08:28)

      Amber Alert

      Posted to Facebook I am in Central New Jersey near the NJ Parkway and Turnpike. Hope some truckers get a handle on this.

  • Praying for those precious girls that they will be found safe and be able to return to their families. It’s so very sad that someone would do this.

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    Christy
    Comment on Praying (August 14th, 2014 at 07:50)

    Praying

    Praying in North Carolina for God’s comforting arms.

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    Comment on Praying (August 14th, 2014 at 08:54)

    Praying

    Praying for the little girls and their family and church. This just wrenches the heart.

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    Amy GB
    Comment on Praying! (August 14th, 2014 at 09:59)

    Praying!

    Lord please protect the girls and bring them home safe and unharmed.
    Protect them from any physical, mental or emotional harm.
    Provide their family and community with a strong sense of your peace and tangible comfort for their hearts.

    Will also post on FB in PA.

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    Debra McCullar
    Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (August 14th, 2014 at 10:02)

    Praying for these two dear girls and will continue. Bless their families

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    Juanita Cook
    Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (August 14th, 2014 at 10:25)

    Prayers for these two sisters to be safe and returned home to their family.

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    Jeannie
    Comment on Amish Girls (August 14th, 2014 at 11:59)

    Amish Girls

    What a shock, seeing this, but as we know as of late, attacks on the Amish community have been building up a bit… It shows that even the most simplest of peoples, their lives are not immuned to the sins of what others choose to commit.

    My heart is just grieving and praying for the families of these two girls, I dont care if they are of the Amish community or not, this is just sickening at best. I hope that the girls are returned safely to their families and the perp(s) caught. The sad state of affairs we live in here in this world.

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    Kentucky Lady 717
    Comment on Amish Girls (August 14th, 2014 at 12:33)

    Amish Girls

    Oh my, so sorry to hear this, sure hope they are found safe and the people caught…..will post this on my facebook too…..

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on God be with them (August 14th, 2014 at 12:49)

    God be with them

    I called Mark and mentioned to him about this tragic abduction. I knew that it would strongly resonate with him because, one, he is
    Amish. Two, when he was about seven he was almost abducted from off of the street, walking to school. If it were not for God’s protecting hand and the alertness of a neighbor’s wife, Mark would have been abducted by a man who stopped and tried to entice him to come to the car. Then, got out of the car and started to come after my son.
    We must pray that God will look after these two little innocents. As for the perpetrator, I don’t know how to pray. Pray that somehow God will reach their hearts and they will repent of this evil that they have done.
    When I lived in Florida, a little girl that lived not too far away from me was abducted out of her bed during the night. She, her dad, and her grandparents lived, together. They didn’t lock their doors when the went to bed. Turned out a child molester was living with his sister and her husband and wasn’t registered with the police. The police finally found him and he led them to the place where he had buried the little girl. He had molested her and buried her alive in a garbage bag.
    Mark and the Amish believe you must forgive and go on. That is really hard for me. Personally, I want to see whoever did this strung up. But, then again, I’m not Amish, my son is.

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    A couple of months ago I was on my way to a Tuesday market. I always stop at a couple of Amish (or Old order mennonite) farm stands to check out what they have for sale and then go to the market. At the market I will not buy what I can get a better deal at the farm stands. This day there were about 30 Amish people visiting the stand. I did greet them as I examined the produce being offered. Three hours later I came back to the stand and while taking a pic of a sign about a property for sale close to the stand, three small boys were walking on the road. Probably a five year old and a set of three year old twin boys were walking on the road going to a neighbors house I think. I waved to the boys as I took the photo on my cell. My mind was racing…….What do I do… Do I watch the boys until they get to their desination or do I just drive off. I chose to move on 500 yards to the farm stand. Did I feel good about this? No. I could have been considered a stalker and might abduct the boys. This still bothers me. What would yo do?
    The Amish are living in the past. This “past” is how I grew up.. My parnets allowed me to walk a mile down the hill to the main highway to sell berries and chickapens on the main highway when I was 8 to 15 years old at the roadside alone. We were trusting back then and abductions were never on anyone’s mind. It just wasn’t a part of how we thought. That’s how the Amish (old order mennonite) think today.
    I feel so bad for these girls and yes, we don’t know the whole story but there are tons of sick people who take advantage of our old school way of living.
    I pray that these girls are OK but I fear for the worse. Please, Dear GOD, provide a good outcome. I’m very concerned what our society has become. THe Amish are facing some extremely confusing situations today and I hope they are prepared and willing to change to adapt to modern society’s extreme situations.
    It’s not their fault that they expect the best of society.

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      Matt from CT
      Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (August 15th, 2014 at 19:50)

      They are living in the past —

      One no more dangerous than it has been for the last 80+ years since paved roads and automobiles became common.

      One unlike the world the rest of live in, however, that isn’t full of stories on “Instant Media” too scare the bejesus out of folks.

      “Stranger danger” might have been less back when roads were dirt and travel was by horse — it simply limited how far someone could get.

      It isn’t any worse today than in the 1950s, or 1980. For those of us in the modern world, it’s probably a lot less dangerous — heck, cellphones and the ability to locate where your kid is instantly pretty much offsets any infantismal danger from van-driving kidnappers.

      What would have this story been in 1960?

      A broadcast on the local AM radio station that afternoon, and then the New York Times the next day maybe publishing three or four paragraphs about two girls who were kidnapped and returned safely home that evening? Beyond the local community few would have heard of it.

      Just how unusual this crime is, it’s rarity, is what drives the media coverage that spectacularizes it. It’s a modern day campfire story that scares humans, and makes us believe the world is far scarier than it is. That isolates folks as they turn inwards in fear instead of going about the world in confidence.

  • SO SAD INDEED! Keep us updated.

  • http://albany.twcnews.com/content/news/761064/two-missing-amish-girls-found-in-northern-ny–amber-alert-canceled/

    The news in Albany is reporting that the girls have been found alive!! Praise God! I don’t know anything other than what’s in this linked article; wanted to share ASAP with all.

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      Comment on Great news (August 14th, 2014 at 21:36)

      Great news

      Emily and Dave thanks for the heads-up. I have updated the post with some details and links.

      It looks like the news just broke, though confusingly the ABC report I linked has a time stamp that is 4 hours before they were allegedly dropped off by their captors (around 8:30 PM, according to WWNY TV). I think that’s just the time of their original story, not the updated version.

      Great news, I just hope they are physically unharmed…according to the report, the girls “seem to be healthy”.

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      OldKat
      Comment on Fantastic news! (August 14th, 2014 at 21:39)

      Fantastic news!

      Thank you Lord that these children have been recovered. Thanks also to Emily and dave for posting this great news so quickly.

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    Praise God! Syracuse.com reports that the two girls are home!

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    I was so happy I didn’t read the comment right before mine! Sorry!! But praise God again!!!

  • I just heard on my news, that the girls were with their parents. I thank God that they are safe and sound.

    Marilyn

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    Comment on Thank God! (August 14th, 2014 at 22:21)

    Thank God!

    Thank God that the Miller girls are back home. Many prayers went heavenward for their safe return.

  • Thank you all for praying, the girls are now back with their parents.
    Prayer is powerful especially when so many prayed for them!
    May God bless you all!

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    Valerie
    Comment on Glory to God (August 15th, 2014 at 05:33)

    Glory to God

    Such a relief and answer to prayers and glory to God! Most of the time these stories have such a terrible ending. Many will be rejoicing ans many were praying-a few things that really stood out to me- the father’s statement when interviewed while they were missing “It’s in God’s hands”. That is the Amish way. Also- that they didn’t need photographs of the girls in this case! And also, that for children that are taught obedience over and above most these days, they chose the right time to ‘disobey’ and fled when their abductors told them to stay put.

    Praise the Lord! Rejoicing at the joy their parents and them must be experiencing, it’s too bad they had to get a taste of the evil around them.

  • Thank God! It was such a relief to hear on he radio that they were found safe

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    Slightly-Handled-Order-Man
    Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (August 15th, 2014 at 07:55)

    What a relief! Now, sadly, will charges be pressed. Is that something the family wants to do, knowing a bit about the Amish, not likely.

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    Marcus
    Comment on Praise the Lord! (August 15th, 2014 at 09:35)

    Praise the Lord!

    Praise the Lord they got back unharmed! Our prayers were answered! I also prayed for them!

    Marcus, Sweden

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    Comment on Update: Photos of the stand (August 15th, 2014 at 11:26)

    Update: Photos of the stand

    Have added a few photos of the farm and stand where the girls were taken to the post.

    The girls have spoken to police. No new information on the abductors, who are still at large at this point.

    From: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/search-amish-sisters-ends-safe-return-24991921

    Two young Amish girls found safe a day after they were apparently abducted from a northern New York farm gave investigators information a prosecutor said Friday she hopes will soon lead to an arrest.

    (Note: comment edited since the girls have been found)

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    Kentucky Lady 717
    Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (August 15th, 2014 at 11:37)

    Thank God the kids were found safe……hope they were not mistreated…..prayers do work…..a lot of people were praying for their safe return….

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on So relieved! (August 15th, 2014 at 11:44)

    So relieved!

    When I first heard this story yesterday morning, I started to pray, and am so glad to hear they’ve been found & are OK (I hope).

    I read a fiction book with a similar scenario, with a little Amish boy being abducted when someone stopped by to purchase root beer and an older sister had to go in the house to make change.

    I am actually surprised that more abductions don’t occur—or wouldn’t the Amish report that to the “authorities”?

    Just happy they’re home, safe!

    Alice Mary

  • Praise God for this good outcome! Erik, please keep us posted as to further news, and thank you so much for getting this story to us.

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on Thank you God (August 15th, 2014 at 12:27)

    Thank you God

    Thank you God for answering our prayers. Thank you for caring. Thank you for bringing those two little girls home. Work on the hearts of the perpetrators and bring them to repentance.

  • So glad to learn that they have been found apparently unharmed.

    It does sound like there is quite a bit more to this story. Were the kidnappers known to the victims somehow?

    I’ll let that be the extent of my curiousity. Mostly, I’m just glad they are back safe.

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    Jean Junkin
    Comment on So happy they are found alive (August 15th, 2014 at 16:00)

    So happy they are found alive

    When the police announced that the two Amish girls had been abducted, my heart went into my throat. Who would abduct two little girls ages 6 and 12 and for what reasons. The who and for what reason, kept shuffling around in my brain. When the police said this was probably going to be a recovery rather than a rescue, I prayed that wouldn’t be the case. Now to figure out who would do this and why? The Amish don’t like a alot of attention and don’t like to involve the police in their problems. We may never know who or why. I’m just happy they were returned alive.

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    City Slicker
    Comment on Amish Girls Abducted (August 15th, 2014 at 17:21)

    Amish Girls Abducted

    After a scare, good news to begin the weekend. Thank God!
    The St. Lawrence County Sheriff/NY State Police can continue to investigate and can pursue criminal charges in the matter without a formal complaint by the victims or their family; “The People of the State of New York” would be the complainants.
    The problem for prosecuters would be in obtaining pertinent information (from the direct victims) to support a criminal complaint, should the parents choose not to provide (I hesitate to say “not cooperate”) the girls for interview, or their testimonies. Unfortunately, anyone to whom the girls made statements probably wouldn’t be able to offer those, as they would be deemed hearsay unless the girls somehow supported the information.

    Now if the perpetrators were to confess, that would simplify things.

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    Comment on Upstate NY couple arrested (August 15th, 2014 at 23:39)

    Upstate NY couple arrested

    Arrests have been made. Earlier this evening a couple living within 20 miles of the stand were charged with first-degree kidnapping, which could mean 25 years to life in prison. Post updated above with links.

  • The two people arrested for kidnapping the girls have been denied any type of bail. 🙂

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    Comment on Almost the worst news possible (August 16th, 2014 at 19:37)

    Almost the worst news possible

    It’s being reported now that the couple sexually abused the sisters.

    “The two young Amish sisters who were kidnapped from their farm in upstate New York last week were sexually assaulted, the authorities said on Saturday.

    The couple who kidnapped them, Nicole F. Vaisey, 25, and Stephen M. Howells II, 39, were arrested on Friday and charged with two counts each of first-degree kidnapping. According to a criminal complaint, the couple planned “to inflict physical injury” and sexually abuse the girls when they took them from their family farm in Oswegatchie, N.Y., near the Canadian border. The suspects each pleaded not guilty.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/nyregion/upstate-couple-intended-to-abuse-amish-sisters-sheriff-says.html?_r=0

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      Comment on Worst news? -- I would be slow to draw conclusions... (August 16th, 2014 at 20:01)

      Worst news? -- I would be slow to draw conclusions...

      Deplorable… Despicable… And a whole lot more words come to mind. But in the midst of my gut reaction to want to see something more along the old eye-for-an-eye level of retribution…, well, I have a moment of realism when I recall that legal terms do not always convey what regular folks like us use take them to mean. Specifics aren’t important here, but there have been times when I knew both the legal charges against someone and the specific acts that had been committed — and legalese often uses terms in ways that seem to mean something far more terrible than the actual ‘crime’ (and some maybe not even worthy of being called a crime). Don’t get me wrong — I’m not taking up for the likes of someone that will snatch kids. But the I’ve-heard-the-term-but-don’t-*really*-know-what-happened side of me forces me to rein in the conclusion-jumping ’til I know for sure the specifics. But that’s just me.

      And thanks for keeping us caught up on the news, Erik.

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      Kentucky Lady 717
      Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (August 17th, 2014 at 14:16)

      This is so horrible……well now the police have them in custody and they will pay for what they did ,now in more ways than one…..God has the final say……so so sorry to hear this…..

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on Praises! (August 17th, 2014 at 14:26)

    Praises!

    Thank God they were brave enough to run. So sorry for their pain and what the parents and community will have to go through because of this as well. Really glad that the law seems to be able to prosecute simply because these are minors who have been harmed. I hope the eventual legal punishment for BOTH (I don’t believe that “submissive” defense is grounds to lighten the woman’s charges)is substantial enough to deter any other Amish abductions.

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    City Slicker
    Comment on Federal Indictment (September 19th, 2014 at 06:46)

    Federal Indictment

    The couple accused of kdnapping the two girls have been indicted in Federal Court on charges of sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography.

    Nicole Vaisey, 25, and Stephone Howells Jr., 39, had previously been charged by authorities in St. Lawrence County, NY State with kidnapping and were being held without bail. They are now in Federal custody.

    The Federal indictment reveals the pair had sexually abused another girl, now about 8 years old, over the past two years.

    State and Federal investigations are continuing.

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    City Slicker
    Comment on Federal Indictment (September 19th, 2014 at 08:22)

    Federal Indictment

    The Associated Press report didn’t indicate if the third girl been held captive; it just said she’d been abused “during the past two years”.
    From AP accounts: The [Syracuse] US Attorney, Richard Hartunian: “…This indictment charges Howells and Vaisey with enticing and coercing children to engage in sexual conduct and making a video recording of it…”.

    Both [Howells and Vaisey] are now in Federal custody with a detention hearing scheduled next week. AUS [Asst. US Atty] John Duncan declined to say whether there may be further evidence from the couple’s computer that other children were sexually abused. He said the investigation is continuing.
    ———————————————–
    Chances are that there won’t be much else forthcoming until the hearing and that unless one or both of the accused plead out, criminal proceedings — both/either State or Federal — would be at least a year down the road while legal maneuvering by both sides takes place.

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on Two Amish Girls Abducted in New York (Updated: Girls Found Alive; Arrests Made) (September 19th, 2014 at 08:33)

    Thanks for the explanation. It’s just so tragic to hear of any children caught up in something like this.

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