Teen sisters found alive nearly a year after vanishing “Details”

Updated: March 12, 2016
Teen sisters found alive nearly a year after vanishing - Details

Teen Sisters Who Went Missing Last Year Found Alive In Upstate New York.

Ky-Lea Fortner, 15, and Shaeleen Fitch-Fortner, 13, were reported as runaways from their family foster home in upstate New York in April last year.

Investigators say a telephone tip led them to the home of a family acquaintance, 29-year-old Amanda Hellman, on Wednesday night in Vestal, near the girls’ home in Binghamton.

Authorities say Hellman abducted the girls on their way to school and held them against their will at her house 10 miles away.

Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea at her arraignment on Thursday where she faced a felony count of second-degree kidnapping.

The accused is being held in custody without bail.

“Hellman … conducted numerous acts to prevent law enforcement from returning the two children to their foster parents,” says the criminal complaint.

Investigators did not say how the girls were treated in captivity or what stopped them leaving.

Hellman’s neighbour told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin he often saw the girls outside the house walking or riding a bike.

He said he saw no signs of “duress”, but neither was very chatty.

Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell said on Thursday the girls are healthy.

He would not comment on a possible motive or provide details on the girls’ captivity.

The prosecutor said additional charges are not expected.