October 23, 2013

Police frustrated two weeks after NH teen vanished

Abigail Hernandez was last seen leaving her high school on Oct. 9.

The Associated Press

CONWAY, N.H. — Law enforcement officials searching for a 15-year-old girl last seen two weeks ago walking home from school are growing frustrated that no solid leads have emerged, the lead FBI agent on the search said Wednesday.

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This photo released by Conway, N.H., police shows 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez of North Conway, N.H.

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In this photo taken Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013, tourists walk by an information booth with a poster of missing teenager Abigail Hernandez in North Conway, N.H. Hernandez disappeared Wednesday Oct. 9 when she was last seen leaving school and walking towards home.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

Additional Photos Below

Police continue to conduct targeted searches for Abigail Hernandez, who was last seen leaving Kennett High School at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, said Kieran Ramsey, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division.

A timeline shows Abigail walked home from school and exchanged several text messages with a friend until shortly before 3 p.m. The last signal from her phone came at 3:07 p.m. on the west side of Cranmore Mountain Resort, 2.5 miles from Abigail’s home in North Conway. Police say unconfirmed sightings put Abigail on the road she normally used to go to and from school.

Tips continue coming into the 1-800-CALL-FBI hotline, including information from out of state, but Ramsey said so far the leads haven’t gotten police closer to finding Abigail.

“There aren’t really any significant developments in the bigger scheme of things and that’s very unfortunate and very frustrating for all the agencies involved,” he said.

Police are now doing targeted searches based on specific information, Ramsey said.

Since Abigail vanished, her mother, Zenya Hernandez, has made public pleas for her to stay strong and come home safely. On Oct. 12, the day Abigail turned 15, she wished her daughter a happy birthday.

“The bottom line is this: You have a missing, now 15-year-old girl with no independent financial means, who has cut off communication, either voluntarily or involuntarily, with her family and loved ones,” Ramsey said. “Those factors alone continue to push us.”

Ramsey said police must consider all possibilities. Abigail may have been in an accident or she may have run away, though he stressed there is no indication she did.

“Then, of course, our greatest fear and the reason we push so hard and because of cases we’ve seen across the country, is that fear of abduction,” he said.

Ramsey also said searchers try to stay positive, pointing out other abduction cases that have ended with the victims returned to their families, including 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, who was missing in Utah for nine months, and three women in Cleveland who were held captive for years.

Meanwhile, the White Mountain Milers running club is holding a public vigil for Abigail this weekend. The event is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at North Conway’s Schouler Park.

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Additional Photos

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In this photo taken Friday Oct. 11, 2013 in North Conway, N.H., a conservation officer for the Fish and Game checks a map as they get ready to search the woods for 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez. Volunteers and joined Fish and Game officers and have searched thousands of acres of land looking for any clues how Hernandez disappeared. Nothing has been found as investigators try to find how Hernandez disappeared Wednesday Oct. 9 when she was last seen leaving school walking towards home.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

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In this photo taken Friday Oct. 11, 2013 in North Conway, N.H., Fish and Game and volunteers head back into the woods looking for 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez. The small tourists town in the White Mountains is still wondering what happened to the teenager who was last seen walking towards home after leaving school on Oct. 9.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

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In this photo taken Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 in North Conway, N.H., Gordon Clark, a train engineer for the Conway Scenic railroad, peers out of his window before taking tourists through the White Mountains. People in this tourist town in the mountains are left wondering what happened to missing teenager Abigail Hernandez. Nothing has been found as investigators try to find how Hernandez disappeared Wednesday Oct. 9 when she was last seen leaving school and walking towards home.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

click image to enlarge

In this photo taken Friday Oct. 11, 2013 in North Conway, N.H., a conservation officer for the Fish and Game Kevin Bronson takes a break from searching the woods for 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez. Volunteers have joined Fish and Game officers and have searched thousands of acres of land searching for any clues how Hernandez disappeared. Nothing has been found as investigators try to find how Hernandez disappeared Wednesday Oct. 9 when she was last seen leaving school walking towards home.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

  


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