According to Abby Hernandez’s lawyers, the girl was subjected to “numerous acts of unspeakable violence” while being held captive for nine months.
The Conway, New Hampshire teen returned to her family last month, after she had disappeared on October 9 2013 on her way home from school. The statement, released Tuesday on behalf of Abigail and her mother, says that the girl is alive and home with her family only “through her faith, fortitude and resilience.” The family also requests time and space for Abby to heal both physically and emotionally.
The statement thanked law enforcement and the media for helping to bring her home, but added that the teenager now needs time to work through the ordeal.
The statement, published on the “Bring Abby Home” website, was written by one of their lawyers, Michael Coyne. It reads as follows: ” On behalf of Abigail Hernandez and her mother, Zenya Hernandez, we want to thank the New Hampshire State Police, the FBI, the Conway Police Department, all of the many law enforcement agencies that were involved in this effort, the community of Conway, the people of New England and everyone that cared about Abby’s abduction and prayed for Abby’s safe return as well as the media’s efforts to bring attention to her kidnapping and assist with her miraculous survival. (…) As the justice system moves forward, and the evidence is revealed, questions about this horrific event will be answered,” the statement also said. “Abby was violently abducted by a stranger. For many months, she suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence. Through her faith, fortitude and resilience, she is alive today and home with her family.”
Gorham, New Hampshire resident Nathaniel Kibby, 34, is accused of being responsible for her kidnapping and captivity. Kibby has pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony kidnapping. Further details of Hernandez’s kidnapping and return on July 20 of this year remain unclear.
Kibby is being held on $1 million cash bail.
She has previously revealed that she often had access to the local paper, The Conway Daily Sun, and that it gave her hope, because she realised people were still looking for her.
Previous reports suggested Abby might have been confined in a shipping container. In court last week, prosecutors said the shipping container had three sections, with a larger middle section, which were all sound proof.
Hernandez’s mother said that when her daughter returned home she was visibly pale and thin and was unable to eat solid foods.
On July 29, Hernandez appeared in court to face down her abductor. She sat in the courtroom’s first row together with her mother and sister.
If convicted, Kibby faces up to seven years in prison, a $4,000 fine and up to five years of probation.