Couple Charged With Kidnapping 2 Amish Sisters

Police suspect they were planning to go after more victims

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 16, 2014 6:03 AM CDT | Updated Aug 16, 2014 11:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police say they've caught the abductors of two young Amish sisters in northern New York, reports AP. Stephen Howells, 39, and girlfriend Nicole Vaisey, 25, are charged with kidnapping, and St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said today there was a "definite potential" that the couple would have gone after more girls had they not been caught. "There was a lot of thought process that went into this," he said. Authorities say the pair abducted the 7- and 12-year-old girls from a roadside farm stand on Wednesday evening and held them 24 hours at the couple's home about 15 miles away.

"The girls have been victims of crimes," said Wells, as quoted in the Daily News. "That's the only detail we'll give." The girls were set free the following day and turned up at a nearby home in Richville, cold, wet, and hungry. "The girls were strong," said the sheriff, adding that they helped police track down the suspects. He declined to give specifics when asked whether one or both suspects set the girls free. Howells works as a registered nurse at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, reports the Syracuse Post-Standard, while Vaisey is a dog groomer. "My whole family is trying to make sense of it," Vaisey's aunt tells the newspaper.

These images provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office show the booking photos of Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey.
These images provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office show the booking photos of Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey.   (AP Photo/St. Lawrence County Sheriff)
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