An Amber Alert has been called off after two Amish sisters were discovered alive and well in New York after they were reported missing on Wednesday night.
Fannie Miller, 12, and Delila Miller, 6, were working at their family's roadside vegetable stand in their rural upstate New York Amish community when they reportedly noticed a white sedan pull up. They walked to the roadside to greet the customer, and then they suddenly vanished. One witness says he saw the driver put something in the backseat.
A statewide Amber Alert was issued, and police began taking steps to find the girls. But this proved to be a Herculean task because the family had no photos of either girl and their traditional belief system conflicted greatly with the authorities' needs.
The Old Order Amish community doesn't believe in photography or most forms of technology. In fact, they had to go to a neighbor's home -- the home of someone who wasn't Amish -- in order to borrow his phone and call 911. Without photos, police faced the challenge of, more or less, blindly attempting to find these little girls. They were ultimately able to persuade their parents to allow an artist who spoke their native language, Pennsylvania Dutch, to sketch Fannie.
Both girls were wearing traditional Amish garb when they went missing -- blue dresses and aprons with black bonnets -- and neither reportedly spoke English well.
Fannie and Delila were, for some mysterious reason, dropped off about 36 miles from their home in a town called Richville. They knocked on someone's door and that person actually recognized them from news reports. The girls were said to be "cold and wet" but "physically in good health." They were driven back to their home.
So far, no arrests have been made. There are so many unanswered questions here. Who abducted the girls and did they know him or her? Why were they suddenly dropped off in the middle of nowhere? Maybe the suspect realized he couldn't get away with whatever he intended to do, given the attention their disappearance had garnered? And the worst question of all -- the one for which you're scared to hear the answer -- what was he or she planning to do with the girls?
Thankfully, this story ended on a happy note. Let's hope police find and apprehend the person responsible for this so that a community of people can rest tonight.
Why do you think these girls were dropped off 36 miles from their home?
Image via Ian Lamont/Flickr