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updated: 8/14/2014 4:54 PM

Search continues for 2 missing Amish girls

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  • New York State Police crime scene investigators search for clues Thursday at a roadside vegetable stand in Oswegatchie, N.Y.

      New York State Police crime scene investigators search for clues Thursday at a roadside vegetable stand in Oswegatchie, N.Y.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

OSWEGATCHIE, N.Y. -- A prayer vigil is planned in a northern New York community stunned by the abduction of two young Amish girls from the family's roadside farm stand.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells says a wide-ranging search continues for 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller.

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They vanished at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a white car pulled up to the stand in the rural town of Oswegatchie.

Both girls were wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets. Because the Amish tend to shun modern technology, police have no photographs of the girls. But Wells says the family has agreed to the release of a sketch of the older child.

Rusty Bissell, pastor at nearby Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, has invited the community to a prayer service Thursday evening.

Deputies, state troopers, forest rangers and U.S. Border Patrol agents were part of the ongoing search for 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said.

Officials issued an Amber Alert for the two girls after they were abducted around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the rural town of Oswegatchie, on the border 150 miles northwest of Albany.

The girls went to wait on a customer at the family's roadside stand, officials said. A witness saw a passenger in a vehicle put something into the back seat, and when the vehicle drove off the children were gone, police said.

Both girls were wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets. Because the Amish tend to shun modern technology, police had no photographs of the girls, Wells said.

The rural county is home to New York's second-largest Amish population, which has grown by some 10,000 upstate over the past decade, drawn by productive land and property prices lower than in Pennsylvania.

Wells said the local Amish community was helping law enforcement by getting the word out despite a culture that avoids modern conveniences.

"You'd be surprised how quick word spreads," Wells said.

The sheriff said police are looking for a white four-door sedan a witness reported seeing at the farm stand when the girls disappeared.

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