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12-year-old sought in Amber Alert is found safe, 2 teen boys charged

State Police canceled Tuesday afternoon an Amber Alert that had been issued for a 12-year-old girl they said had been abducted in Lyndon in Cattaraugus County.

"The child has been safely recovered," the New York State Police said on their Facebook page shortly before 5 p.m.

The missing girl, McKenzie R. Wilson, and two teenage boys, Joshua R. Monette, 18, and John Harvey, 16, were apprehended in Farmersville, also in Cattaraugus County, just a few miles from McKenzie's home, Trooper James O'Callaghan said.

"Everyone is located and in good health," he said, adding no struggle or resistance was encountered and that the three were found thanks to a tip phoned into police.

Monette and Harvey were arraigned Tuesday evening in Town of Machias Court, according to State Police. Both were charged with grand larceny, two counts each on criminal possession of a weapon, as well as criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful imprisonment. Monette was additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The charges were lodged after police consulted with Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman.

While issuing the Amber Alert Tuesday morning, State Police said Wilson was "in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death."

She was reported missing about 5 a.m. from her home in the Shady Lane vicinity of Lyndon, a rural town of about 700 people outside Franklinville. Monette and Harvey took the girl, police said. They were believed to be armed with two handguns, driving a stolen, red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with New York license plates CXA5836.

State Police at Machias did not think the 12-year-old Cattaraugus County girl was abducted against her will when they issued an Amber Alert.

But they did believe that the teens suspected of taking her away were armed and possibly dangerous, prompting troopers to notify law enforcement all over New York State. That’s why cellphones throughout the area beeped with the alert.

“We have to take this as a very high level of threat to her and the people around them,” O’Callaghan said.

The Amber Alert, which was issued at 12:20 p.m., was canceled at 4:39 p.m.

The two boys and the missing girl know each other and are students at Randolph Academy, a residential school in the southwestern corner of Cattaraugus County that specializes in “the use of peer pressure in a positive way among students and staff members to create shared expectations regarding attitudes and behavior,” according to its website.

“We don’t believe Wilson was taken against her will,” O’Callaghan said late Tuesday, “but we issued the Amber Alert because of their ages. And it’s unknown if she is freely able to leave.”

He added that none of the three showed up for school as scheduled Tuesday. They did not leave a note or any indication of where they may be headed.

The red pickup they were driving was stolen in the vicinity of the abduction of Shady Lane in Lyndon.

O’Callaghan said Wilson and the teens were from the Lyndon area.

Police had advised the public not to try to apprehend the two teens and the girl.

“Our big thing is that if you see a red pickup at a gas station or restaurant, do not take matters into your own hands; call 911,” O’Callaghan said. “We have a firearms investigation here and want to bring it to a peaceful resolution.”

He added that he had suspected a fair share of red pickups would be pulled over during the time of the Amber Alert, and that leads from citizens were already reaching police.

The Amber Alert has brought the matter to public attention through the media, flashing signs on the Thruway and the cellphone bulletins.

“The Amber Alert gives us a lot more tools,” O’Callaghan said.

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