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Online vigil for Abigail reaches 3,200 Facebook users

Union Leader Correspondent

November 04. 2013 2:35PM
One of two images which online vigil organizers asked Facebook users to post on their profiles Sunday night. COURTESY 

CONWAY – Sunday night's online vigil to aid the search for Abigail Hernandez spread to as far away as Ireland, as friends of the missing girl tried to reach out for more information to people who may not have heard she is missing.

And law enforcement was watching, according to the FBI's Kieran Ramsey, in case there were clues to be found that might aid in the missing person investigation.

The posts started Thursday morning by Paul Kirsch, a marketing professional from Rapid Insight in North Conway, who is a friend of the Hernandez family and has been conducting campaigns to help find Abigail, who has been missing since Oct. 9. She was last seen sometime after 2 p.m., walking home from school.

Kirsch asked friends who have created Facebook and Web pages about the case to post one of two images as their Facebook profile from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday night and to share it with their friends and ask them to do the same.

He also provided seven other photos of Abby, and he asked people to repost four times and share that post to their friends during the period. The information on the photos included details about when she was last seen, her height and weight, and contact numbers for law enforcement.

By the end of Sunday night, the vigil photos and information had been shared by 3,200 Facebook users.

Kirsch, who is part of a group of volunteers who have formed to work independently of law enforcement, said the online vigil was completed by volunteers, and he said the vigil is part of "the most important marketing campaign of my life," something his employers have supported and joined him to do out of their care for Abigail.

The online vigil was meant to reach "people who may be scared to give some information they know, or people who think that what they know has already been reported so they shouldn't report it."

"The news has been out there. We need to reach people who for some reason haven't heard about it, or they know something and haven't said anything yet. I'm still scared that someone out there has some information that they think someone has reported. We need every bit of info we can get," Kirsch said.

Ramsey said the FBI, which maintains a staff in Conway with a full-time agent on duty using law enforcement professionals to conduct "targeted" searches and investigations, said the FBI was in touch with Kirsch over the weekend, giving him photos of Abigail as requested.

The vigil "was fantastic to see," Ramsey said, adding that FBI agents were monitoring the vigil for clues.

Aside from that, "there's nothing new to report" in the investigation, he said.

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