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New Hampshire man held on $1M in teen's kidnapping


By LYNNE TUOHY

CONWAY, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire man charged with kidnapping a teenage girl nine months ago was ordered held on $1 million bail Tuesday as the girl watched from the front row of the courtroom.

Abigail Hernandez disappeared after leaving her high school in October and returned home last week.

Nathaniel Kibby was arrested Monday without incident at his Gorham home, about 30 miles north of where Hernandez lives. He's charged with felony kidnapping, a charge that carries up to seven years in jail if convicted.

Police said Kibby, 34, confined Abigail, then 14, on Oct. 9, sometime after she left Kennett High School to walk to her North Conway home. Abigail, who turned 15 a week after she disappeared, returned home the night of July 20, but authorities have not explained the circumstances of her disappearance or return.

Kibby was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held on $1 million cash bail. The only time he spoke was to answer, "Yes I am, your honor" when the judge asked if he would seek a public defender.

The judge denied public defender Jesse Friedman's request to unseal affidavits, search warrants and other investigative material before the hearing. Friedman argued it was impossible for him to begin to defend Kibby without knowing the facts that led to his arrest.

Law enforcement officials said there were no other suspects and that searches of Kibby's home were continuing.

Attorney General Joseph Foster said Monday that Abigail provided the police with details of her kidnapping that led to Kibby's arrest.

Kieran Ramsey, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, said the investigation hinged on three factors: The community outreach, the team of investigators who followed up on every tip and, mostly, Abigail.

"Abby herself helped her safe return through her courage and resolve to come home," Ramsey said.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young, who heads the criminal bureau, would not comment on what Kibby does for a living or supply other details about his background. He has a criminal history dating back to 1998, including convictions on simple assault, criminal trespass and breach of bail conditions, according to court records. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 12.

Abigail, who sat with her mother in court, earlier issued a statement, which was posted on Facebook, thanking people who searched for her and saying she believes their hopes and prayers "played a major role in my release."

Young said that when the girl disappeared, she apparently had no way to get about or secure food, shelter or other necessities on her own. She said that the teen "went dark" and could not be traced through social media for the duration of her absence.

However, police revealed several months ago that the girl had written to her mother. When the letter surfaced, Ramsey said it was possible the girl had run away but that someone could be coercing her into staying away. Police have not revealed the contents of the letter.

"Abby continues to work on restoring her strength," said Paul Kirsch, a family friend. "I have never been so blown away by a child's strength. This kid had found a way to survive for nine months."

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loveready7 July 29 2014 at 4:42 PM

Only 7 years for felony kidnapping!!! That should be at least 20 to 25 years!

Flag Reply +43 rate up
15 replies
patricia.shore July 29 2014 at 6:16 PM

I will probably get totally horsewhipped for this, but I do not believe one thing that girl has said. I think this man is a scapegoat.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
8 replies
Will Hinkley July 29 2014 at 4:55 PM

How did that girl survive a New Hampshire winter locked up in a storage shed? It isn't possible. So, where was she--really?

Flag Reply +19 rate up
9 replies
Joan July 29 2014 at 7:13 PM

Something is fishy about this story.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
1 reply
Annette Joan July 30 2014 at 3:21 AM

I agree. But I can't see a 14 yr old wanting to voluntarily go anywhere with him. I wonder if they met on the internet and he portrayed himself as someone that he wasn't. By the time she realized what was happening, it was too late to get away.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
bbo51 July 29 2014 at 5:32 PM

not near enough info to call this one yet, why won't they release any facts? all may not be as it seems here so I don't think I would fry the guy yet just because he's ugly.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
2 replies
sknkodiak bbo51 July 29 2014 at 6:28 PM

They're probably withholding releasing more information because they want him tried and convicted by a jury of his peers, not by the court of public opinion. Although give most of the comments on here, it's too late for that.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Dee bbo51 July 29 2014 at 6:41 PM

Oh yes, he's guilty no matter what. Remember she's ONLY 14. There's no excuse, none.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
Barbara Dee July 29 2014 at 8:44 PM

I totally agree with you Dee...unless that was her Daddy...there was no excuse for this!!!

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leslie July 29 2014 at 4:38 PM

What a psycho looking bastard! He should have been fried immediately after the picture was taken!

Flag Reply +15 rate up
9 replies
rjen164497 July 29 2014 at 6:14 PM

I want to hear the facts. If she went with him on her own she was under age. If she went on her own and changed her mind and he let her go., he is still a scumbag. Possible he did not hold her against her will.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
4 replies
fkfrakes8 July 29 2014 at 4:35 PM

He looks like a whack job. Hope he enjoys the boys in prison. My guess is they sure sure going to enjoy him. Thank God she's safe and I pray in time she will recover from her ordeal.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
Aaron David fkfrakes8 July 29 2014 at 4:47 PM

We have to start a fast, swift punishment for these types of people, instead of people "Crying" for whack job type of people.. I say get a 737 military version where the back ramp opens up, and once a month we have a "Kidnapping Dump" all great white sharks invited.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
schlauger1 Aaron David July 29 2014 at 5:25 PM

How about the court tries him first, and since the verdict will most likely show him to be what he is and has been, the court then gives him life with minimal comforts. A super small cell, no cable TV, a few dusty magazines a month, a pen and paper, and that's about it. Oh yeah, two hours a week in the yard to keep him from atrophying and dying young.

This of course, is if he's guilty. Let's not get carried away. :~)

Flag +1 rate up
roseyoungstewart fkfrakes8 July 29 2014 at 6:29 PM

are you kidding? There are plenty of his kind in the cooler.a lot of kidnappers these days.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
aptwest July 29 2014 at 4:31 PM

Butt ugly he is

Flag Reply +8 rate up
3 replies
Loneagle July 29 2014 at 7:20 PM

Although I respect the decision to keeps things hush hush for now, I do not understand why all the secrecy surrounding this case.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
JRivers Loneagle July 29 2014 at 8:22 PM

There is already enough speculation on what he did to her for nine months. They probably don't want to release information that would confirm just what his did to this 15 year old. And whatever happened to 15'll get you 20, 7 years? Really?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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