CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — 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.
Police allege Kibby knowingly confined Abigail “Abby” Hernandez, then 14, on Oct. 9, sometime after she left Conway High School for her home.
Kibby was scheduled for arraignment today at Conway District Court. It was not immediately known if Kibby has a lawyer. Attorney General Joseph Foster said he will have a press briefing after the arraignment.
Abby returned to her home sometime the night of July 20. Authorities have not explained the circumstances of her return.
Abby’s mother said in a television interview that rumors that the girl, now 14, was pregnant aren’t true. Zenya Hernandez told NBC’s “Today” that many people think her daughter was pregnant, but she was not.
She also 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.
Abby also issued a statement thanking people who searched for her and saying she believes their hopes and prayers “played a major role in my release.”
Her mother said when Abby 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.”
Attorney General Joseph Foster said when the girl disappeared she apparently had no way to get about or secure food, shelter or other necessities on her own.
Townspeople who searched and prayed that she would return are relieved, but also are looking for answers about where she’s been and how she got home.
“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.”
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