OSWEGATCHIE, NEW YORK — Two young sisters who went missing from an Amish community in rural New York have been reunited with their family after their abductors released them, county officials said late on Thursday, more than 24 hours after their disappearance.
The two girls, 6-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, were abducted at around 7:20 p.m. local time on Wednesday when they walked to their roadside stand in the town of Oswegatchie to wait on a customer. Authorities issued an Amber Alert several hours later, but the search was hampered by a lack of photographs and because the parents only speak Pennsylvania Dutch.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said the girls were found just before 9 p.m. on Thursday when they were released by their abductors and dropped off from a vehicle in Richville, a small a small hamlet in St. Lawrence County, which is about 260 miles (418 kilometers) northwest of New York City.
"They walked up to a stranger's door, they knocked on that door, the person answered, and he recognized immediately who they were because they were still dressed in their Amish attire," Rain said. "The girls asked to go home and he immediately took them home where he was met by deputies."
Rain said the girls were reunited with their family at home, where they were speaking with a deputy and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "The Amish are very private people, so hopefully they will allow us to speak to the girls until we can get the information we need to develop the leads necessary to apprehend one or more suspects," she said.
Both girls appeared to be unhurt from their ordeal but were checked out at Claxton-Hepburn Hospital in Ogdensburg as a precaution. St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells told WWNY-TV that the girls were abducted by two men, who took them to a home in Bigelow, near Richville, until they were released on Thursday night.
The motive for the abduction remained unclear Friday, and no arrests had been made yet.
"Their health seems to be fine, they are talking to the deputy and the FBI investigators," Rain added. "They are talking, so that's good. They have given us a lot of details that we'll need to follow up on in our investigation so it appears as though they are well enough to be able to speak to us and are not in total shock."