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Thu, 14 Aug 2014 20:40:26 +0000
(NEW YORK) -- Two missing Amish girls in northern New York was found alive tonight and the Amber Alert for them was cancelled.
Police did not release any additional information, but applause erupted at the search command center.
According to District Attorney Mary Rain, a car dropped the girls off in Richville, N.Y. The girls then walked to the nearest house, where a male resident recognized them from the news coverage. Rain said that the girls "seem to be healthy." She also noted that it is possible that multiple people were involved in the girls' abduction.
The family of Delila Miller, 6, and Fannie Miller, 12, had agreed to work with a sketch artist on an image of the elder child, providing a vital tool to investigators because Amish religious beliefs preclude taking photographs.
"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 has been that the family speaks mainly Pennsylvania Dutch, the traditional language of the Amish, authorities said. The girls have heavy accents, though the 12-year-old speaks English, Wells told the local ABC News affiliate.
The girls 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.
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 cellphones.
Both girls were last seen wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets, authorities said.
Despite the cultural differences, Wells said the community has been rallying 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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