Kidnapping victim Abigail Hernandez details captivity in first public interview

“I thought he was always watching me.”

Abigail Hernandez during her interview with Deborah Roberts of ABC.
Abigail Hernandez during her interview with Deborah Roberts of ABC News. –ABC News

He insisted she call him “master.”

During the nine months Nathaniel Kibby held her captive, restrained by an electric shock collar, Abigail Hernandez, 14 and a high school freshman at the time, didn’t know her captor’s name. What he did tell her, though, was that if anyone tried to break through the door to where she was held, the room would burst into flames.

Hernandez details the physical and psychological tortures she endured after she was kidnapped in an interview with ABC News’s Deborah Roberts. That interview is scheduled for Friday night’s edition of “20/20.”

It’s the first time the public will hear Hernandez speak about what she went through, nearly five years after she was taken.


Since the time when Hernandez was freed, Kibby has pleaded guilty to aggravated felonious sexual assault and kidnapping, along with other charges.

Kibby kidnapped the teen at gunpoint while she was walking home from Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire, back in October 2013.

Throughout the time she was held, Hernandez said she lived in fear — afraid of the room catching on fire, afraid that her captor was monitoring her every move — a camera blinked nearby.

“I thought he was always watching me,” she told Roberts.

When Roberts asked her if she was “on edge,” Hernandez said she was.

“Yes, I was afraid the room would set on fire,” she said.

While Hernandez was held captive, her family frantically searched for her.

“The effort was massive,” said Zenya Hernandez, Abigail’s mom, in a separate interview with Roberts. She added that at one point she realized, “I might not see her again.”

But on July 20 of the following year, Kibby dropped Hernandez off on a quiet, rural road.

“I remember looking up and laughing,” she said, adding that she walked home.

She opened the door to her home and called for her mother, who was in disbelief.

“I was exuberantly happy,” Zenya Hernandez said. “I said, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s you,’ and she kept saying, ‘It’s me, it’s me.’”


Roberts told the New Hampshire Union Leader in an interview that she “didn’t push her too much, but what we knew is that there were certain people in the community who scoffed at her story and doubted her story.”

Kibby only released Hernandez after Lauren Munday, who went on a date with Kibby and didn’t know about his teen captive, tried to use counterfeit money he gave her, the Union Leader reported.

“It’s really almost chilling when you think about it — these two young women have very different encounters with this guy,” Roberts said in the interview.