Ky-Lea Fortner, 16, and Shaeleen Fitch-Fortner, 14, were located Wednesday at a home in Vestal, New York, state police said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. That's about 15 miles from the Susquehanna Valley school in Conklin, where the girls were last seen on April 27, 2015, waiting to board a school bus at the end of the day.
The girls had been living with a foster family in Binghamton, New York, when they disappeared and were initially reported as runaways, police said. But authorities now say the girls were kidnapped.
Police on Wednesday arrested Amanda Hellman, 29, a resident of the home where the girls were found. She has been charged with second-degree kidnapping, a felony.
New York State Police
Hellman pleaded not guilty, according to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. The felony complaint claims she held the two girls against their will.
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"Hellmann ... conducted numerous acts to prevent law enforcement from returning the two children to their foster parents," the complaint says.
Broome County district attorney Steve Cornwell credited good police work for the breakthrough in the case. "Eleven months goes by ... and you think the worst," he said. "State police have honestly been working this case every single day. They didn't give up."
The girls were turned over to Broome County Family Services.