Amish kidnap suspect’s employer probes drug theft

In this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 photo, deputies from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department escort Nicole F. Vaisey, left, and Stephen M. Howells II, to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court in Fowler, N.Y. The couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters were prowling for easy targets and may have also planned to abduct other children, St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said Saturday. (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Melanie Kimber Lago)
In this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 photo, deputies from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department escort Nicole F. Vaisey, left, and Stephen M. Howells II, to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court in Fowler, N.Y. The couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters were prowling for easy targets and may have also planned to abduct other children, St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said Saturday. (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Melanie Kimber Lago)

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (AP) — The hospital that employed a New York man charged with abducting two Amish girls is conducting an investigation into the possibility that he stole drugs.

Stephen Howells Jr. worked as a registered nurse at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg before he was arrested this month on charges of kidnapping with the intent to physically or sexually abuse the girls.

The Watertown Daily Times reports that the hospital is conducting an investigation as it cooperates with police. A hospital spokeswoman would not comment on the specifics of Howells’s case but stressed that patient medications are under strict security.

Authorities say Howells and Nicole Vaisey abused the girls before letting them go. They are being held without bail.

A message left for the public defender believed to be representing Howells wasn’t immediately returned.

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