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July 23. 2014 7:51PM

Celebrations for Abby on hold


The sign in front of Kennett High School in North Conway reflected the feelings of many in town Wednesday. (COURTESY AMANDA SMITH)

CONWAY — The sign in front of A. Crosby Kennett High School reflected the feelings of many in town Wednesday, with the words “Welcome Home Abby.”

Abigail Hernandez, 15, returned home Sunday night after being missing for nine months, under circumstances that are the subject of an investigation by law enforcement authorities, who say they don’t yet understand all of what went on with her disappearance and her return.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Wednesday the investigation goes on “into all the facts surrounding her disappearance, her return, and the nine months in between.”

The FBI’s Kieran Ramsey said there was no news to report from the investigation.

“There’s nothing new beyond what we’ve already said,” he said.

On Tuesday, the AG’s office made an appeal to the public for information, releasing images of a pair of black pants and a striped sweater that Abby was wearing the night she returned home as well as the day she disappeared, Oct. 9, 2013.

Young said authorities want to talk to anyone who saw “Abigail Hernandez or a female” wearing the pants and sweater and carrying a camouflage-print drawstring bag in the area of North South Road Sunday between 10 and 10:30 p.m.

Young has said that the teenage girl could not have acted alone.

“To the extent that someone helped her, if it rises to the level of criminal activity, that person will be brought to justice,” Young said Tuesday.

For the family, it is too soon for a celebration of Abigail’s return, said Amanda Smith, one of the volunteers who led the “Bring Abby Home” campaign on the Internet through social media.

“Right now we don’t have anything planned. Our number-one concern is Abby and their privacy,” Smith said.

The Bring Abby Home Facebook page has been flooded with expressions of goodwill and happiness since the news of Abigail’s return came Monday.

“I am so pleased she is back with her family ... all the other details don’t matter much unless criminal activity was against this young girl. Welcome home Abby,” read one post.

Two posts later, a woman asked, “Where has she been?”

Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at 271-3636 or the Conway police at 356-5715.

dseufert@newstote.com


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