October 18, 2013

FBI announces $20,000 reward in missing N.H. teen case

The Associated Press

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. — The mother of a teenager missing for more than a week made a personal plea to her daughter Thursday: Stay strong.

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Photo released by Conway, N.H., police shows 14-year-old Abigail Hernandez of North Conway, N.H.

Courtesy North Conway police

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With the help of state and local police, FBI agents set up a road block to question drivers Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in North Conway, N.H., The road is where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Its been a week since the teenager was last seen leaving school.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

Zenya Hernandez spoke the same day the FBI announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of anybody who may have had a role in 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez’ disappearance.

Abigail was last seen leaving Kennett High School at 2:30 p.m. last Wednesday. Police now say she never made it home.

A timeline they prepared shows her sending several text messages between 2:30 and 2:53 p.m. The next signal they got from the phone was at 3:07 p.m. Wednesday at nearby Cranmore Mountain ski resort.

She was seen walking the route she often took from school to her home, two miles away.

“We’re not giving up hope,” Zenya Hernandez said at an afternoon briefing in front of the Conway police station.

“We miss you Abby. We truly, truly miss you. Please stay strong, do not give up, keep on fighting.”

Police continue to say they have no evidence to suggest anything suspicious and are treating this as a missing person’s case.

Zenya Hernandez appeared stronger than she did Saturday, when her voice broke as she spoke to reporters on her daughter’s 15th birthday. Wearing a T-shirt with “Bring Abby Home” on it, she thanked the community for supporting the family and implored people to come forward with any information.

People in North Conway are doing what they can to help the Hernandez family.

At Mountain View Community, where Zenya Hernandez is a registered nurse, WMUR-TV reported staff can donate vacation time to her. Staff and residents are also wearing yellow ribbons in support.

Kellie’s Colorful Stitches is selling T-shirts emblazoned with “Bring Abby Home” to raise money.

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