New Hampshire officials announced Monday afternoon that a man has been arrested in connection with the nine-month disappearance of Abigail Hernandez, the teenager who was last week found and was reunited with her family, according to multiple reports.
Nathaniel Kibby, 34, has been charged with “felony kidnapping for knowingly confining Abigail Hernandez on Oct. 9, 2013,’’ reported CBS Boston.
Kibby, of Gorham, N.H., was arrested shortly after noon on Monday at his home at 4 Brookside Drive, reported NECN. It is unclear if that is the location where Hernandez was held during the nine-month ordeal.
Hernandez released a statement Monday saying that she was “beyond words’’ when it came to expressing her gratitude for those who contributed to her rescue, reported The Boston Globe.
I wish that I could personally thank everyone who looked for me. My gratitude is beyond words,’’ she said. “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.’’
Kibby is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in North Conway Circuit Court.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said a joint law enforcement effort contributed to Kibby’s arrest, which was made without incident.
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. Abigail Hernandez provided the police with details of her kidnapping sufficient to warrant today’s arrest.
A press conference is scheduled to take place at the Conway Police Department once Kibby’s arraignment is completed.
Hernandez went missing on last year on her way home from Kennett High School in Conway, N.H. She reportedly sent multiple text messages at the time, but never came home that day.
Hernandez’s mother, Zenya Hernandez, said in a nationally televised interview Monday morning that she morning rejected the theories that Abigail was pregnant and knew her alleged abductor.
“The majority of people somehow believe that she was pregnant,’’ Zenya said. “She was not. She did not run away. I firmly believe that. As for her knowing the individual, I firmly believe that she did not know the individual.’’
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office is encouraging anybody with additional informaiton to contact the State Police at 603-271-3636 or the Conway Police at 603-356-5715.