WHAM13 - Search Results
Sketch released of Amish girl believed abducted
by Jane Flasch
A small farm stand in rural northern New York is now a crime scene. A neighbor says she saw someone in a white car pull into the farm stand, put something in the back seat and leave. That was 7:30 Wednesday night.
12 year old Fannie Miller and her six year old sister Delila who had been at the farm stand have not been seen since. "There is no indication to take us in a certain direction at this point," said Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells.
The farm stand is in St Lawrence County two hours north of Syracuse. An amber alert issued for the area last night was extended Thursday morning to include the NY Thurway and Rochester. "Amber Alerts are very targeted and based on leads," said Ed Suk of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Police are also searching the location by helicopter and on foot. They are setting up road blocks and checking those in the area who have criminal backgrounds. "Sex offenders are required to report their addresses so we know where they live," said Sheriff Wells. "Have we interviewed sex offenders? Lots of sex offenders."
Fanny is five feet tall and weighs 90 pounds. Police have released a sketch of her. Delila is four feet tall and 50 pounds. Both girls were dressed in dark blue dresses with aprons and bonnets. However police cautioned their appearance may already have been altered.
"There is certainly the likelihood that they will be forced to change clothing that would fit in with the English culture and not the Amish culture that would make it more difficult to find the girls," said Suk.
Religious beliefs in the Amish community prevent the taking of photographs. For police trying to get the word out in the critical first 24 hours- that is a challenge. "We always encourage families to have updated photos and fingerprints of their kids. In this particular situation we just don't have that," said Suk.
The Miller family has consented to a police sketch of Fanny, but not of their younger daughter citing their religious belief.
Police are now looking for a small, white, four-door sedan. The fact they have extended the Amber Alert to the thruway may indicate they believe the car is on the move. They want travelers at rest stops to keep their eyes open but also their ears. The girls speak Pennsylvania Dutch and not traditional English.
"I would say to the public, across the state, that if you see something, say something. Don't wait and think someone else has called police," said Sheriff Wells. If you see anything suspicious call 911- do not try to intercede.