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Authorities release sketch in Abigail Hernandez case

Law enforcement officials investigating the disappearance of New Hampshire teenager Abigail Hernandez released a sketch Thursday of a man they say drove the girl away in a pickup truck on Oct. 9.

Hernandez, now 15, was missing for nine months; she was reunited with her family Sunday.

“We are all pleased Abigail was returned safely to her family,” New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster said in a statement accompanying the sketch. “The individual or individuals who were involved with her disappearance and absence will now have to face the consequences of any unlawful actions.”

Officials are still investigating whether the man in the sketch, or any others, took Hernandez against her will, enticed her away, detained her, or concealed her whereabouts for the last nine months.


Abigail Hernandez has returned home.AP

Hernandez told investigators that the man in the sketch was driving a navy blue pickup truck on North-South Road in Conway, north of the rotary, when he drove her away between 2:20 and 2:30 p.m., according to the statement. She described him as slightly overweight and a little taller than her 5 feet 4 inches, with a large build, darkish skin, dark brown eyes, and black stubble facial hair.

Officials have said little about where Hernandez has been. On Thursday, supporters said in a statement posted to bringabbyhome.com that they know people want to find out what happened to the teenager during the past nine months, but because law enforcement is continuing its investigation into her disappearance and return, they will not be commenting for now.

“Many people have been requesting specific answers and details as to exactly what happened to Abby,’’ said the statement, signed by Amanda Smith and Paul Kirsch. “While we appreciate the desire for answers, this is still very much an ongoing law enforcement investigation, and no details can be released that could jeopardize the integrity of their work.’’


The website has been endorsed by Hernandez’s mother, Zenya, and the girl’s father, Ruben. It has served as the primary source of information from relatives of the teenager since she went missing, after leaving Kennett High School in North Conway.

In the statement, supporters thanked the public for its support.

“We want to thank everyone for their continued support for the Hernandez family as they recover and rest from this long ordeal,’’ the statement said.

Supporters said that while Abigail was missing, her family and friends followed the advice of law enforcement officials, including the FBI and local police, on what to share with the public and are continuing to do so.

“During the last nine months we have fully supported and taken direction from law enforcement on ways to proceed that were in the best interest of Abby’s safety and return to her family,’’ supporters said on the website. “Abby being reunited with her family on Sunday is a testament to us that this process has worked and continue to believe they are acting in Abby’s best interests. As we receive more information from them, we will share it as soon as we can.’’

The statement ended with an implicit appeal: “We thank you for your patience.’’

Earlier this week, authorities released pictures of clothes the teenager was wearing when she reappeared Sunday and said they are reviewing surveillance video from around the family home to “gain answers to the many questions” in the case.


Investigators have asked anyone who saw her between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Sunday wearing a colorful striped sweater and black leggings. They appear to be the same clothes Hernandez wore before she disappeared in October, a few days before her 15th birthday, authorities said.

Jane E. Young, an associate attorney general in New Hampshire, said this week that police are also looking for more video of the Hernandez home and asked residents who have video security systems to provide tapes to investigators.

Anyone with information about the man in the sketch is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636 or the Conway Police Department at 603-356-5715.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
or on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@