A 34-year-old man has been arrested in the case of Abigail Hernandez, the 15-year-old girl who went missing for nine months from her home in Conway, New Hampshire.
Nathaniel E. Kibby of Gorham, New Hampshire, is in custody and charged with kidnapping.
Here’s what we know about this breaking story.
1. Kibby’s Bail Was Set at $1 Million
— WMUR TV (@WMUR9) July 28, 2014
Kibby is charged with felony kidnapping “knowingly confining Abigail Hernandez on October 9, 2013, in Conway, New Hampshire, with a purpose to commit an offense against her.”
A press release from the New Hampshire Attorney General states that Kibby was arrested at 12:04 p.m. on July 28 at his home at 4 Brookside Drive in Gorham, New Hampshire.
— Adam Sexton (@AdamSextonWMUR) July 28, 2014
Kibby was arraigned at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Conway District Court. He is being represented by a public defender in the case. In court, his lawyer referred to him as “Nate.”
The New Hampshire attorney general was granted a bail of $1 million, cash only, for Kibby. Terms of the bail included the provision that Kibby make no attempt to contact Abby Hernandez or her family. The conditions also forbid Kibby from using alcohol or firearms if he was to be released on bail. Abby Hernandez and her mother, Zenya, were in the courtroom. As Kibby walked into the room, you could see him glance at the 15-year-old.
Anyone with information about Kibby “and any activity at his residence since October 9, 2013,” is urged call New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636 or Conway Police at 603-356-5715.
2. High School Classmates Describe Him as an Outcast
A few days before her 15th birthday, Hernandez disappeared while walking home from Kennett High School.
New Hampshire Today reports Kibby also attended Kennett High School, many years earlier, and that his classmates describe him as an outcast.
Hernandez was found alive and well on July 19 and reunited with her family.
At the time, cops said they suspected she had been confined during the intervening months but provided few details. In the week of December 2, 2013, just under two months after Abby disappeared, Kibby appeared in court and paid a $350 fine for marijuana possession.
Additional records show Kibby paid a speeding fine in 2009.
3. Abby’s Statements to Police Led to Kibby’s Arrest
Above is the sketch police released last week of the man sought in the kidnapping.
While Kibby is far from an exact match, investigators say “Hernandez provided the police with details of her kidnapping sufficient to warrant (the) arrest.”
In a July 24 statement, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office described the wanted man:
Law enforcement authorities have been provided information from Abigail Hernandez that the man depicted in the sketch drove her away on October 9, 2013, between 2:20 and 3:00 pm. At the time, the man was driving a navy blue pick-up truck on North South Road in Conway, north of the rotary. Abigail described the man as having darkish skin, dark brown eyes, black stubble facial hair, and a large build, who was slightly overweight and slightly taller than she was (5’4″).
4. She May Have Been Held in an ‘Above Ground Bunker’
As police search the home where they believe Abigail Hernandez, WMUR reports that cops discovered an “above ground bunker” that may have been used to hold Hernandez.
5. Abby’s Mom Went on the ‘Today’ Show to Insist Her Daughter Did Not Run Away
Abigail’s mother, Zenya Hernandez, went on NBC’s Today show on the same day the arrest was announced, breaking the family’s silence. She made is clear that her daughter did not run away and said Abby returned to her family in failing health.
Abby released this statement ahead of the interview:
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.
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