Amish Plan 'Garage Raising' for Couple Who Returned Girls

Grateful family 'won't take no for an answer'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 27, 2014 12:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jeffrey and Pamela Stinson don't need a barn, so the Amish community plans to hold a "garage raising" for the upstate New York couple who returned two young girls who had been kidnapped and sexually abused. The couple tell the Watertown Daily Times via the AP that the girls' family insisted on showing their gratitude by replacing a garage that had recently burned down and "won't take no for an answer." The girls, ages 12 and 7, who came to the couple's door cold and hungry around 24 hours after they were kidnapped and asked to be taken home, will be present at the raising, along with their parents, grandparents, 11 siblings, and dozens of other relatives.

The Stinsons say the girls were terrified and so hungry that they consumed a watermelon in under a minute. They say they decided to take them back to their family home around 15 miles away before calling the police—and were afraid their truck would be shot at after a mystery car tailed them closely all the way to the home before speeding off. Police say alleged kidnappers Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey planned to make the girls their sex slaves but abandoned them near the Stinson house after getting spooked by heavy media coverage of the case, the AP reports.

An Amish family rides along Route 812 in Heuvelton, NY, near where the two girls were abducted.
An Amish family rides along Route 812 in Heuvelton, NY, near where the two girls were abducted.   (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Jason Hunter, File)
Jeffrey and Pamela Stinson pose for a portrait outside an Amish buggy  in front of their Bigelow, NY, home.
Jeffrey and Pamela Stinson pose for a portrait outside an Amish buggy in front of their Bigelow, NY, home.   (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Jason Hunter)
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