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Authorities want public’s help in locating N.H. teen

New Hampshire Fish and Game personnel and volunteers prepared to search a wooded area in Conway, N.H., Friday for Abigail Hernandez, who disappeared after school Wednesday. Her 15th birthday is Saturday.Jim Cole/Associated Press

Officials appealed for the public's help Friday after searching on land, air, and water for a New Hampshire teenager who disappeared earlier this week.

The FBI's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team joined state and local authorities as they tried to locate Abigail Hernandez, who went missing Wednesday in Conway, N.H. Her 15th birthday is Saturday.

"This is still nothing more than a missing person case, but we are leveraging every tool, every technique, and every resource we have in hopes of bringing young Abby home to her family," Kiernan Ramsey, an FBI special agent, said at a press briefing Friday. Authorities said they do not believe that her disappearance is suspicious.


Hernandez was last seen around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near Kennett High School, the FBI said. She was wearing black leggings or yoga pants; a gray-striped, multicolored sweater; and black leather boots.

Abigail Hernandez disappeared Wednesday near her high school in Conway, N.H.Conway Police Department/Associated Press

Conway police, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, New Hampshire State Police, and the FBI continue to review tips being called in and to look at social media and cellphone records for additional clues.

The FBI also set up a roadblock Friday near Hernandez's school to distribute fliers to motorists along the girl's route home on the day she went missing, Ramsey said.

FBI units from as far away as Virginia are assisting in the search, he said.

Jane Young, associate New Hampshire attorney general, said there is no indication of foul play in Hernandez's disappearance, but authorities are "leaving no stone unturned" in their search.

"We are here for one reason: to find Abby," Young said. "We are trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. . . . We are coming together to find this little girl."

Young said the girl's family has been cooperating with authorities during the search.

A moment of silence was held for Hernandez at the Kennett High School football game Friday, and officials asked spectators who had information to share it with officials in attendance.


Authorities also urged the public to send in tips to the 800-CALL-FBI tip line or submit them online at the website http://tips.fbi.gov .

"There is no piece of information too small or insignificant to help us locate Abigail," Ramsey said. "We continue to be asked what we know about the investigation, and we continue to answer with what we don't know — and that is, 'Where is Abigail at this very moment.' "

Conway Police Chief Edward Wagner appealed directly to the teen.

"Please know that the only thing we want in this is Abigail's safe return," Wagner said. "Abby, if you're out there and you hear this message, or see this message, please call the Police Department, your family, or friends, so we can conclude this investigation and have your safe return."

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at Haven.Egresitz@ globe.com.