Suspected Amish kidnappers’ home burned down; Trial in March

Booking photos of Stephen Howells II (left) and Nicole Vaisey. Source: St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

HERMON, N.Y. – The home of a couple, accused of abducting two Amish girls in St. Lawrence County, New York, and sexually assaulting them, has been burned to the ground.

The owners of the neighbouring property – Jamie and Kimberly Matthews – came to an agreement in September to buy the property, about 90 kilometers southwest of Cornwall.

According to, they purchased the farm house, outbuildings and six acres of land from the Howells family for $10,000 cash and another $1,000 to pay for school taxes.

The place was then burned to the ground through a controlled burn, supervised by the Hermon Volunteer Fire Department, just before dawn on November 23, 2014.

The Matthews family then cleared the property of the rubble and the trees and shrubs, the paper said.

Jamie Matthews told the property – home to Stephen Howells II,39, and girlfriend Nicole Vaisey, 25 – was giving his young children nightmares.

While his kids were reportedly not victims, the Matthews family couldn’t take the effect it was having on their family nor the spectacle the property was creating for passing motorists.

Howells and Vaisey are accused of abducting two Amish sisters, ages 7 and 12, from a farm stand in Heuvelton, just south of Ogdensburg, N.Y. on Aug. 13, 2014.

The pair faced more charges in the weeks following the August arrest – with Vaisey indicted on 10 counts of Howells on 21 counts of child pornography charges involving a half dozen children.

The unspeakable acts allegedly carried out by the two accused made national headlines in the United States.

They will be in a federal court Mar. 23 for a trial.

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