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Family of Abigail Hernandez describes ‘violent’ abduction

Abigail Hernandez (right) sat with family and friends prior to the arraignment of Nathaniel Kibby.Charles Krupa/AP File

The family of New Hampshire teenager Abigail Hernandez has released the first details of her nine-month disappearance, saying that she “was violently abducted by a stranger.”

In the statement posted Tuesday afternoon on a website set up during the search for Hernandez, Michael Coyne, an attorney representing the teenager and her mother, Zenya Hernandez, said it was “miraculous” that she survived her long months of captivity.

“For many months, she suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence,” Coyne wrote on behalf of the Hernandez family. “Through her faith, fortitude and resilience, she is alive today and home with her family.”

Coyne, a professor and dean-elect of the Massachusetts School of Law, according to the institution’s website, could not be reached Tuesday night.


“Abby needs and wants some time and space to physically and emotionally heal,” the statement said. “It is going to be a long process in pursuit of justice for Abby and for Abby to get physically and emotionally stronger. We do not intend to have this case tried in the press.

“As the justice system moves forward, and the evidence is revealed, questions about this horrific event will be answered.”

Kieran Ramsey, assistant special agent in charge for the FBI’s Boston division, which covers New Hampshire, would not comment on the allegations in the statement, saying that law enforcement officials would not speak until a criminal complaint is unsealed.

New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Jane Young, lead prosecutor in the case, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Nathaniel E. Kibby, 34, of Gorham, N.H., pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of kidnapping Hernandez, who disappeared Oct. 9 and returned home last month. He is being held on $1 million cash bail.

Last week, Justice Pamela D. Albee, of the Third Circuit District Division court in Conway, N.H., ordered state officials not to remove Kibby’s mobile home and a storage container from a trailer park where he lived in Gorham. Prosecutors had sought to haul away the mobile home and container and place them in storage. They believe Kibby held Hernandez on his property, according to Albee’s ruling, but it was not clear if they think she was kept inside the structures or was at the trailer park for her entire nine-month disappearance.


Public defenders appointed to represent Kibby had asked the judge not to allow the trailer and container to be moved until they have had an opportunity to thoroughly investigate both. Prosecutors have released few details of Hernandez’s disappearance, and have not specified any other crimes they believe Kibby committed.

Family friend Paul Kirsch, who has also acted as a spokesman, declined to comment Tuesday night.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.