The father of two Amish girls who were allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted has said he feels “sorry” for the suspects.

Father: Suspects In Daughters' Abduction Are "Sad"

Following the safe return of their two daughters, Delila Miller, 7, and Fannie Miller, 12, Mose Miller, 44, and his wife, Barbara Miller, 43, spoke to the press on Sunday at their upstate New York farm.

It’s sad. They must have ruined their whole life,” Mr. Miller told the press.

Forgiveness is a highly regarded trait of the Amish community, and reports suggest that it is this exercise of forgiveness that prompted these comments, as the Millers have been working with authorities. Meanwhile, Mrs. Miller said she was happy to have two of their 14 children back at home. “We feel relieved we have them. It’s still not like it was,” she said.

Suspects Arrested Alleged Kidnapping Of 2 Amish Girls

The young girls were allegedly kidnapped on Wednesday, Aug. 13 and were found Thursday evening, having either escaped their captors or been released. They somehow ended up at the door of Jeff Stinson, 20 miles away from home. Stinson reportedly recognized the girls from their family roadside vegetable stand, and offered the girls food and water before returning them to their home.

According to St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells, the girls were instrumental in the arrest of suspects Stephen M. Howells II, 39, and Nicole F. Vaisey, 25, who were arraigned on Friday. Howells and Vaisey are currently being held without bail on charges of first-degree kidnapping.

Were The Girls Sexually Abused?

Many sources are speculating that the two girls were sexually abused while in the custody of their kidnappers, but Wells refused to confirm or deny the rumors in a press conference on Saturday, Aug. 16. While Wells was hesitant to reveal any details of their capture, he did say that Howells and Vaisey appeared to have simply wanted “take these girls from their home and to victimize them.”

Authorities believe that Howells and Vaisey, a couple, took the girls to their home in Hermon, N.Y., and police searched the home for evidence over the weekend. According to St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain, authorities expect more charges to be filed against the couple.

“We have a very good sense of what happened, but we aren’t giving out details now in order to avoid compromising the investigation,” Rain stated.

Reports suggest that the girls were sexually abused. When asked what kind of treatment the girls suffered at the hands of their abductors, Sheriff Wells answered vaguely, saying, “The girls have been victims of crimes.”

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