Kidnapped Franklin County couple now home in their ‘quiet community’

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 6:23 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOIRA, N.Y. (WWNY) - A couple kidnapped from their Franklin County home earlier this week is now back safe and sound and five people have been arrested in their disappearance.

Just outside of St. Lawrence County is the little town of Moira.

“Kind of a quiet community, there’s not a lot of trouble going on,” said town supervisor Justus Martin.

But earlier this week, something was going on.

Officials say James and Sandra Helm, both in their 70s, were kidnapped from their home.

James Helm has been the Moira highway superintendent for 12 years and town employees knew something was wrong pretty quickly.

“Monday morning, I heard from highway employees that Jim is not reachable by phone,” Martin said. “They went to his house, they couldn’t find him, they called the police. Jim and his wife Sandy, an elderly couple in the community, were suddenly missing.”

Our sister station, WCAX, reports that 5 Quebec residents now face charges in connection with their kidnapping.

Martin says it’s his understanding they were smuggled across the Canadian border against their will.

“I was told from an official source that it was a hostage situation,” Martin said.

But after a scary couple of days, officials report the Helms were recovered in Quebec Tuesday night.

Martin says they got back home Wednesday morning.

“My understanding from the family is that they’re shook up, but doing fine,” he said, “trying to deal with the reality of what took place.”

Officials have not yet released more details, but Albany FBI agents are handling the case. They said on Twitter Wednesday they are working with New York State Police and Quebec provincial police.

“The whole situation has just made me realize what an amazing gift a small community is,” Martin said.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.