Bail is set at $5,000 for a Vestal woman accused of helping her partner take two children from foster care in April of last year.

29 year old Amanda Hellmann appeared for the bail hearing Friday, March 18. She has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping for helping Cindy Fortner take Fortner’s children: 13 year old Shaeleen Fortner and 15 year old Kylea Fortner as the girls waited for a school bus at their Susquehanna Valley school April 27.

The Broome County District Attorney’s office also filed a petition in  Vestal Town Court on allegations that Hellmann was in violation of her conviction for drug-impaired driving that came on January 14.

Authorities say the girls’ mother and Hellman, who had reportedly overdosed on heroin in May and October and was treated by medics, had taken several deliberate actions to keep authorities from finding the teens.

While the teens were not prevented from leaving Hellman’s Torrance Avenue home, due to their ages it is legally considered that they were held against their will.

The girls’ mother has also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping.

The children were returned to custody of Child Protective Services after they were found March 9th.