Man charged with kidnapping in mysterious 9-month disappearance of N.H. teenager
(CNN) — A 34-year-old man has been charged with kidnapping in the case of Abigail Hernandez, a New Hampshire teenager who went missing last October and then suddenly returned home last week — more than nine months later.
New Hampshire resident Nathaniel E. Kibby was arrested Monday and charged with one count of felony kidnapping for “knowingly confining Abigail Hernandez on October 9, 2013, in Conway, New Hampshire, with a purpose to commit an offense against her,” according to New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster.
Kibby was arrested Monday at his home in Gorham, N.H., investigators said.
Hernandez’s case drew national attention when the then 14-year-old girl went missing last fall. Her mother received a letter from her missing daughter, the contents of which were never revealed. And the mystery surrounding her disappearance only deepened when she suddenly returned home last week and authorities and her family revealed few details other than to say she was very thin and recovering.
“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,” according to Foster’s statement.
Investigators said Hernandez provided police with details of her kidnapping that were “sufficient to warrant today’s arrest.”
Kibby’s arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday in Conway District Court.
In a statement released Monday, Hernandez, who is now 15, thanked those who searched for her while she was missing.
“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,” Hernandez said.
Last week, investigators released a sketch of a man they said drove the teen away in a navy blue pickup truck on Oct. 9.
Investigators also released photographs last week of black pants, a gray striped sweater and a camouflage-colored National Guard bag, asking for information from anyone who “saw Abigail Hernandez or a female wearing the clothing and drawstring bag.”
Authorities said Abigail had no source of income and on the day she disappeared she did not have winter clothes with her.