An arrest has been made in the Abigail Hernandez kidnapping case, bringing closure to the family of the abducted 14-year-old, but revealing little else on why Hernandez went missing, or why after nine months the teen simply strolled through the front door of her home.
Reports The Associated Press on Monday via MSN News: “A 34-year-old man was arrested and charged Monday with kidnapping a New Hampshire teenage girl who returned home recently after vanishing nine months ago. Authorities said Nathaniel Kibby was arrested without incident at his Gorham home and was charged with felony kidnapping.”
On October 9 of last year, “Abby” was walking home from Conway High School and was last seen by her boyfriend. She was not seen again until the evening of July 20, when the thin and scared teen, now 15-years-old, walked into her North Conway home, wearing the same clothes that she went missing in.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office released a press statement, saying only that Kibby confined Hernandez “with the purpose to commit an offense against her,” adding that “Hernandez provided police with details of her kidnapping sufficient to warrant the arrest.” A description and location of Kibby, given by Abby, sent an assault team to Kibby’s home some 50 miles away. It’s not clear how Abby made the journey home.
Kibby will be arraigned today at Conway District Court.
Abbey’s divorced parents, Zenya and Ruben Hernandez, have spoken out against allegations that their daughter ran away from home, or that she chose to go with Kibby because she was pregnant with his child.
In an interview with the Today show, mother Zenya Hernandez dispelled rumors running rampant on the Internet and social media.
“The majority of people somehow believe that she was pregnant. She was not. She did not run away. I firmly believe that,” Mrs. Hernandez said. Describing her daughter’s return, Zenya said: “We just stood and looked at each other and then we hugged and I just said, ‘Thank god you’re home, thank god you’re home.’”
Zenya says her daughter did not know her abductor, adding that Abby is weak and in poor health, and although is recovering has yet to be able to take in solid foods.
“She was very thin,” Zenya said. “She lost a lot of weight, very pale. She had a look in her eyes that I’ve never ever seen before and that’s haunting me.”
A website set up when Abby went missing, BringAbbyHome.com, released a message from the teen, who has yet to speak to the media about her ordeal.
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. – Abby