Mom ‘worried to ecstatic’ as daughter’s Amber Alert is canceled

LYNDON, N.Y. (WIVB) — What started as a region-wide search ended less than 15 miles from where it began, when New York State Police caught up to two teens and the 12-year-old girl, who was the subject of a daylong Amber Alert. Each was taken into custody peacefully, but most importantly, unharmed.

Tuesday started in terror for the family of McKenzie Wilson, who was eventually found safe about 12 hours after she went missing. But it didn’t start well for Heath Doberstein, either.
Doberstein is the owner of the red Chevrolet pickup that state police said was stolen in Franklinville by the teens, who then drove to Wilson’s house in Lyndon.
“We got up this morning to get the kids to school and the truck was gone,” Doberstein said.
State police said Joshua Monette, 18, and John Harvey, 16, stole Doberstein’s truck to pick up Wilson early Tuesday. The three attend Randolph Academy, which is part of the Franklinville Central School District.
None of that was known by Doberstein, until just before 12:30 p.m. when his cell phone signaled an Amber Alert in the area.

“An Amber alert went off on our phones,” Doberstein said. “And I just started from there, Facebook and everything, and all these people. The main thing was the girl being OK. The truck can be replaced. The girl was the most concerning.”

Doberstein’s truck was found near the suspect’s house off Huyuk Road in Farmersville, less than 15 miles from Wilson’s house. Doberstein said he communicated with state police throughout the day.

Doberstein said he gave state police permission to search his pickup after the trio was taken into custody. 
Doberstein said his wife’s handgun was in the truck when it was stolen. He also said there was a new box of ammunition in the truck.
Two guns were recovered. In addition to Doberstein’s handgun, Monette’s father reported his gun to be missing as well.
By 4:40 p.m., the Amber Alert had been called off, and Wilson’s mother, Patsy McConnell, had been notified.
By the evening, McConnell said she was exhausted and anxious, but relieved her daughter was found safe.
“Worried to more ecstatic. Very happy,” McConnell said. “I just can’t wait for her to be home after they’re done talking to her.
“I hope that justice is served and obviously this shouldn’t have ever happened,” she added. “So hopefully they (the teens) are punished for what they’ve done.
Each teen is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and unlawful imprisonment. Monette is additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Both teen were arraigned late Tuesday in Town of Machias Court. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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