Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Search for 2 Amish sisters apparently abducted from roadside farm stand ends with safe return

Lillian LaRose, Heuvelton, holds up a candle on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 during a candlelight vigil at the Cornerstone Wesleyan Church in Heuvelton for Fannie Miller, 12, and her sister Delila Miller, 6, who were still missing after being abducted Wednesday night at a farm stand near their home. (AP Photo/The Watertown Daily Times, Jason Hunter)

Enlarge Image

Lillian LaRose, Heuvelton, holds up a candle on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 during a candlelight vigil at the Cornerstone Wesleyan Church in Heuvelton for Fannie Miller, 12, and her sister Delila Miller, 6, who were still missing after being abducted Wednesday night at a farm stand near their home. (AP Photo/The Watertown Daily Times, Jason Hunter)

ALBANY, N.Y. - The search for two missing Amish sisters who apparently were abducted from their family's roadside farm stand in northern New York ended with their safe return about 24 hours later when they were given a lift home. What happened in between remained a mystery.

The girls, 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, were dropped off Thursday evening at a house in Richville, about 15 miles from the family farm in Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said. Cold and wet but unharmed, they knocked on the door and asked for help getting home, she said.

A neighbour who visited the Miller family after hearing word of the girls' return said she spoke with one of their brothers, who said they were well and being checked out.

"We have the safe return of the two girls, but at the same time we have a lot of work to do," St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells told WWNY-TV. "There's still been a crime committed here, these girls were still taken away from their homes."

No other details were immediately available about what had happened to the girls or if authorities had identified any suspects.

"We have the sheriff's department and the FBI speaking with the young ladies," Rain said, while noting that the Amish are a "very private people."

She said investigators believe more than one person was responsible for the girls' disappearance and she was confident they would be arrested.

Word of the girls' return came shortly after about 200 people attended a candlelight prayer vigil at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church in nearby Heuvelton. They sang "Amazing Grace" and "This Little Light of Mine," read psalms and called children to the altar for a round of prayers.

Dot Simmons, a member of the congregation and neighbour of the Miller family, said despair turned to joy when she returned home from the vigil to word that the girls were safe.

She and her husband got a call saying that police scanner traffic was reporting the unexpected outcome and they drove next door to find an ambulance and one of the Millers' older sons sharing the good news.

At the nearby police command post, authorities weren't releasing any information, but the subdued atmosphere had given way to law enforcement officers exchanging smiles and high-fives.

"We are celebrating tonight, but now the real work begins," Wells said, according to the Watertown Daily Times.

Authorities initially said the sisters vanished at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a white or light-colored car pulled up to the farm stand and they went down to tend to the customers while the rest of their family stayed at a barn for the evening milking. By Thursday night, however, they were looking for a red car.

Searchers had scoured Oswegatchie, a farming community of about 4,000 people on the Canadian border about 150 miles north of Albany, in a hunt hampered by a lack of photos of the girls for authorities to circulate among a frightened community. There were no photos because the Amish tend to shun modern technology, but the family agreed to the release of a sketch of the older child, Wells said. They had to work with an artist who spoke their language, Pennsylvania Dutch.

The girls are among the youngest of Mose and Barb Miller's 13 children, who range in age from 1 to 21 years, said Simmons, the neighbour. The girls routinely took on the chore of selling the fruits, vegetables, jams and other products of the farm, Simmons said.

"It's absolutely amazing," she said of their return.

St. Lawrence County is home to New York's second-largest Amish population, which has grown in the past decade because of productive land and property prices lower than in Pennsylvania

___

Associated Press writer Chris Carola contributed to this report.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media