2 teens missing for nearly a year found alive, family acquaintance charged in kidnapping

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Two teenage sisters have been found nearly a year after vanishing and a family acquaintance has been charged with their kidnapping, according to New York State Police.

Ky-Lea Fortner and Shaeleen Fitch-Fortner were reported as "teen runaways" last April, NBC News reports.

At the time of their disappearance, the teen girls, then aged 15 and 13, were living with their foster family in Binghamton, N.Y.

Police say the girls were last seen waiting for a bus at their school.

According to NBC News, the girls were found Wednesday night in Vestal, N.Y., which is about 15 miles away from where they were last seen.

Amanda Hellman, 29, was charged Thursday with second-degree kidnapping in connection with the teens' disappearance.

Police say Hellman, a family acquaintance, abducted the girls and kept them at her house, the Press & Sun-Bulletin reports.

She allegedly prevented them from returning to the home where they had been living.

"The girls are healthy today," Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell said Thursday. "The allegation is they were kept in the defendant's house without their consent."

She pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Authorities have not released any information on the motive behind the alleged abduction or any details on the girls' captivity.

The teen girls are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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