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Neb. girl who resembles drug, robbery suspect held in jail more than a week

The Associated Press

NORTH PLATTE, Nebraska- Same red hair, similar features and size - the teenagers even had identical earrings.

The difference is, one of them is suspected of helping an armed man rob a convenience store, and the other spent more than a week in jail for it.

Amanda Sylvester, 17, was arrested Oct. 23 in connection with the robbery. She was freed Oct. 31 after a tip led police to charge Kayce Schildhauer, 19, in the case.

Police apologized to Sylvester, whom another suspect had picked out of a photo lineup, and said her close resemblance to Schildhauer had thrown them off.

"There is a lesson to be learned here, that everything isn't always what it appears," Chief Martin Gutschenritter said. "It's uncanny, I have never seen anything like this."

Sylvester had been arraigned on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and aiding and abetting a robbery, with bail set at $25,000 (euro19,400). Police now say they suspect her of nothing.

Police Lt. Rick Ryan said three men arrested in the case told police they knew the female accomplice only as "Shorty." They gave a physical description that matched Sylvester, and one of them identified her as the accomplice when shown a photo of her.

Cindy Bradley, Sylvester's foster mother, said she had been unable to afford bail.

Robert Lindemeier, a public defender, said he had been assigned to Schildhauer's case but stepped aside because he also had represented Sylvester. He said he did not know whether a new attorney had been assigned to her.

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