Missing Girl's Return Cloaked in Mystery

Abigail Hernandez case a rare one: expert

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 26, 2014 4:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – This week saw a missing girl safely returned to her family after nine months—but her disappearance in Conway, New Hampshire remains mysterious. Authorities are looking into the "facts and circumstances" that led to Abigail Hernandez going missing, Reuters reports. Police have released a sketch of the man said to have picked up the 15-year-old in his truck when she disappeared, but it's not certain whether he took her "against her will, enticed her away, detained her, or concealed her whereabouts for the last nine months," officials say.

"We continue to say we have a number of questions we don't have answers to," an assistant attorney general says, per the AP. Investigators lacked evidence of foul play, she adds. But "a child cannot do this on their own with this level of sophistication to stay off the grid. Especially a child of this age—they live through phones and social media." A criminal law expert points to the strangeness of the story. "You never get cases like this where you're at the end game of the case, and it's completely unclear what happened," he says.

FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday July 22, 2014, a missing person poster of Abigail Hernandez displayed in a storefront window in North Conway, N.H., shows Hernandez has been found. Hernandez, 15, returned home nine months after vanishing on her way home from high school. But the...
FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday July 22, 2014, a missing person poster of Abigail Hernandez displayed in a storefront window in North Conway, N.H., shows Hernandez has been found. Hernandez, 15,...   (AP Photo)
This police artist sketch released Thursday, July 24, 2014 by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office depicts a man's likeness drawn from a description provided by Abigail Hernandez that she said drove her away from North Conway, N.H., more than nine months earlier. Attorney General Joseph Foster said it...
This police artist sketch released Thursday, July 24, 2014 by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office depicts a man's likeness drawn from a description provided by Abigail Hernandez that she said...   (AP Photo/New Hampshire Attorney General's Office)
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