A New Hampshire man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old girl more than nine months ago.
Nathaniel Kibby, 34, was arrested without incident at his Gorham home, about 48.27km north of where Abigail “Abby” Hernandez lives, and was charged with felony kidnapping, authorities said.
Police allege Kibby knowingly confined Abby, then 14, on October 9, sometime after she left school to walk to her home in North Conway. Abby returned home the night of July 20, but authorities have not explained the circumstances of her return.
Attorney General Joseph Foster said on Monday law enforcement officials have worked around the clock to determine the facts surrounding the girl’s disappearance and return. He said Abby provided the police with details of her kidnapping that led to Kibby’s arrest.
Kibby is scheduled for arraignment on Tuesday at Conway District Court.
In an interview earlier on NBC’s Today program, Abby’s mother, Zenya Hernandez, said that when her daughter returned home, she was thin and pale and 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.”
Abby also issued a statement, which was posted on Facebook, thanking people who searched for her and saying she believes their hopes and prayers “played a major role in my release”
Zenya Hernandez said she believes Abby did not run away and didn’t know the man believed to have driven off with her.
Police released a sketch of him last week based on Abby’s description. The mother also said that rumours that her daughter was pregnant aren’t true.
Young said that when the girl disappeared, she apparently had no way to get about or secure food, shelter or other necessities on her own. She said that Abby “went dark” and could not be traced through social media for the duration of her absence.
However, police revealed several months ago that Abby had written home to her mother. When the letter surfaced, FBI agent Kieran Ramsey said it was possible the girl had run away but that someone could be coercing her into staying away. Police have not revealed the contents of the letter.