Man Charged in Mysterious Abigail Hernandez Kidnapping Case

A man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping in the case of the New Hampshire teenager who disappeared last fall without a trace on her walk home from school. Abigail "Abby" Hernandez went missing on October 9, and allegedly walked home and was reunited with her family on July 20.

Very little is known about her disappearance, but the 15-year-old has reportedly been working with law enforcement every day to help find her captor. Police said that 34-year-old Nathaniel Kibby was arrested without incident in Gorham on Monday, 34 miles from Abby's hometown of Conway.

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Authorities say there may be more arrests if evidence shows that more perpetrators were involved, but for now they are not actively seeking any other suspects. The Attorney General's office released a statement on Monday, ahead of Kibby's scheduled arraignment on Tuesday:

Over the course of the past week, law enforcement officers have worked around the clock to ascertain the facts and circumstances surrounding Abigail's disappearance and return ... Abigail Hernandez provided the police with details of her kidnapping sufficient to warrant today's arrest.

Abby's mom, Zenya Hernandez, went on NBC's Today to dismiss rumors that her daughter had run away, or been in hiding for a pregnancy. Abby returned home thin, pale, and malnourished. Zenya said she had "a look in her eyes I've never, ever seen before. And that's something that's haunting me, and I think will haunt me for the rest of my life."

We still have no idea what happened to this girl, but something did. There are so many questions to be worked out -- where was she? Did she escape or was she released? What other sorts of trauma did she endure?

Despite her ordeal, Abby did release a statement, thanking her entire community and beyond for assisting in her search and rescue effort:

I wish that I could personally thank everyone who looked for me. My gratitude is beyond words ... it's an incredible feeling to be home and I believe in my heart that your hopes and prayers played a major role in my release. Thank you all for the welcome home.

Attorney General Joseph Foster believes that Abby was indeed held captive, as she would have had no way to find food, shelter, or other necessities at the time of her disappearance. And if you've ever experienced a New England winter, you know those things are important for survival.

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Abby's family is determined to find out what happened to their girl during the nine months she was missing. "I feel like they just ripped something out of our souls," Zenya Hernandez said. "And just as I swore that I'll find her, I'll find the person, I'll find out what happened."

Do you think we'll ever find out what really happened to Abigail Hernandez?

 

Image via New Hampshire Attorney General's Office

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