Missing Amish Girls Found Alive in New York, Amber Alert Canceled

PHOTO: Sketch of one of the missing Amish girls released by the St. Lawrence Sheriffs Department, Aug. 14, 2014.
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Two missing Amish girls in northern New York were found alive Thursday night and the Amber Alert for them was canceled.

Applause erupted at the search command center when word came of their recovery.

The girls, Delila Miller, 6, and Fannie Miller, 12, went to wait on a customer at the family's roadside stand Wednesday night in Oswegatchie, a rural town located near the Canadian border. Police said a witness saw a vehicle put something in the backseat. When the car drove away, the witness told police the children were gone.

The sisters were dropped off in the town of Richville, about 36 miles from where they were abducted, District Attorney Mary Rain said. The girls walked to the closest home and the man who opened the door immediately knew who the girls were because of news reports.

PHOTO: New York State Police have issued an Amber Alert for two Amish girls who were apparently abducted from their familys roadside stand in Oswegatchie on the evening of August 13, 2014.
WSYR
PHOTO: New York State Police have issued an Amber Alert for two Amish girls who were apparently abducted from their family's roadside stand in Oswegatchie on the evening of August 13, 2014.

The girls asked the man to take them home, Rain told ABC News.

"The girls walked up to a stranger's house, thank goodness they had enough courage to do that, knocked on the door, and that person took them home," Rain said.

The two young girls have been reunited with their family. They "seem to be healthy," but were "cold and wet," the DA told ABC News, and that they are being interviewed by authorities.

Rain said the sisters were still wearing Amish attire when they were found. She also said that more than one person may have been involved in the girls' abduction.

The search for the girls was complicated because police did not have any photos of the girls to display because the Amish way of life does not allow for photography.

The girls' family agreed to work with a sketch artist on an image of the elder child.

Cops: 'Numerous Leads' in Search for 2 Amish Girls

"It's a belief within the Amish community, so we did really well to get this sketch," St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said.

He added that it was the family's decision to not have an artist's rendering of their younger girl.

Another barrier was that the family speaks mainly Pennsylvania Dutch, a traditional language of the Amish, authorities said. The girls have heavy accents though the 12-year-old speaks English, Wells told the local ABC affiliate.

Wells said it was "a very short period of time" between when the family realized the girls were missing and when authorities were notified.

He said police were alerted from a call made at an English-speaking residence that owns a telephone. Amish families do not have modern conveniences such as telephones, let alone cell phones.

Despite the cultural differences, Wells said the community rallied together to help search for the missing girls.

"This is something that's against what we all believe in," he said.

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