Amish kidnapping suspects arraigned, charged with kidnapping
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:53:39 GMT —
News conference update (Saturday morning): St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells says the suspects in the kidnapping of the two Amish girls intended to do them harm. The two, 39 year old Stephen Howells II, who is a nurse, and 25 year old Nicole Vaisey, a pet groomer, are being held without bail until a preliminary hearing, now scheduled for Thursday morning. The girls' family has an order of protections, which District Attorney Mary Rain says is routine. More charges are pending agains the couple. This morning's news conference, in Canton, included representatives of the FBI, State Police, and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, all part of a task force that made the arrests. Sheriff Wells says the girls themselves helped locate the suspects, and that they're doing well 'because they're strong'. He says the two were dropped off by the suspects, and went to a home, where Jeff Stinson recognized one of them because in the past, he'd bought corn from her at the roadside stand they'd been missing from, since last Wednesday. Stinson reportedly fed them (they were wet and cold) and drove them home.
Update: 5am---we have video from photojournalist Alex Resila of the kidnap suspects being arraigned.
St. Lawrence County DA Mary Rain says "We specifically did not provide any details at this point, we wanna A, protect the privacy of the victims and what may have occurred to them during that 24 hour period." An 8am news conference in Canton should give more detail. The DA says 'there will be more charges'.
After 11pm: The two suspects have been arraigned and charged with first degree kidnapping. Few details are being released at this time. The sheriff's department plans to hold a press release at 8:00am Saturday morning to release more information. We will have a crew there and will provide constant updates on this website as well as Weekend Today in Central New York at 9am on NBC3.
10:23 p.m. update: Couple arrested for kidnapping two Amish sisters to be arraigned in Town of Fowler court in Gouverneur. Judge tells CNYCentral the court appearance should be sometime before 11:00 p.m.
8:56 update: The District Attorney of St. Lawrence County confirms there have been arrests in the Amish kidnapping case. The suspects are a man and woman: Stephen Howells II, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25 both of Hermon, New York. They are charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping
8:51 p.m. update: Reporter Dora Schidell, who is on the scene reports a red Pontiac on a tow truck has been brought towards the scene where investigators have been focused all evening.
8:16 p.m. update: As many as 15 vehicles from various police agencies have just rushed past a road block heading towards a home in Hermon, St. Lawrence County where police have focused their investigation in the hunt for the people who kidnapped two Amish girls this week. The Sheriff is on the scene and has said there may be a new update on the case "soon."
St Lawrence Co. investigators have blocked a road in Hermon in the investigation into the abduction of two Amish girls.
According to WWNY investigators are searching for evidence in a home on County Route 21 near Marshville Road in Hermon. A road block has been set up a roadblock where the roads connect.
Our crew on the scene reports that it appears the home has two vehicles that match the description of those possibly connected to the kidnapping.
One of the vehicles was described as a white four-door sedan and the other as a red Dodge Caliber.
St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells confirmed more than one person was involved in the abduction and said investigators are searching several locations.
They have set up road blocks to keep the sites secure.