Vestal Woman Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping
A Vestal woman is admitting she was involved in the removal of two sisters from foster care and hiding them for almost a year.
14 year old Shaeleen Fortner and 16 year old Kylea Fortner were taken in April of last year as they were waiting to get on a school bus in the Susquehanna Valley School District, bound for a foster home.
29 year old Amanda Hellmann, who is the partner of the children’s mother, pleaded guilty May 12 to felony kidnapping.
The mother, 47 year old Cindy Fortner is also charged in connection with the kidnapping.
Hellman’s lawyer says the sisters wanted to be with their biological mother and did not try to escape after being taken to Hellmann’s Torrance Avenue home. The Broome County District Attorney’s office, however, has said the girls were too young to legally make the decision.
The teens were found by authorities on March 9th.
Hellman will be sentenced July 11 to ten years in prison and five years probation while Fortner’s case is pending.