Two Arrested in Abduction of New York Amish Girls

Two people were held without bail Friday night on first-degree kidnapping charges in the abduction of two Amish girls this week in upstate New York. Stephen M. Howells II, 39, and Nicole F. Vaisey, 25, were arrested at a home in the town of Hermon, more than 20 miles from where the girls were taken from their family's roadside farm stand Wednesday night in Oswegatchie, the St. Lawrence County district attorney's office said. The suspects could face of 25 years to life in prison if convicted, and further charges are possible, authorities said.

The St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said late Friday that one of the girls provided "crucial information" that led investigators to the home that Howells and Vaisey share in Hermon. "The arrest of the two persons have with no doubt saved young children from future abuse at the hands of these two," it said.

Sheriff Kevin Wells said earlier Friday that the girls were in good health. They were dropped off Thursday night in the town of Richville, about 15 miles from home, and walked to the nearest home, where a resident took them back to their family.




— Niven McCall-Mazza and M. Alex Johnson