GORHAM — Nathaniel E. Kibby was well-known to the Gorham Police Department, which, four days before he was arrested for allegedly kidnapping Abigail Hernandez, returned a small arsenal to Kibby that he had voluntarily surrendered as a bail condition in an unrelated case.
Gorham Police Chief CJ Cyr said Kibby, who has resided at 4 Brookside Drive in the Gateway Trailer Park on Route 2 for the past five years, had been arrested several times between the late 1990s and 2003. His crimes include theft, simple assault and drug possession, Cyr said Thursday.
Most recently, Kibby went to the Gorham police station on March 4 and turned over 11 firearms as well as ammunition. In doing so, Kibby met a condition of his bail in connection to charges of simple assault, prowling and loitering, and criminal trespass stemming from an incident in Conway that same day.
When Kibby pleaded guilty on July 23 to criminal trespass, the restriction on his possessing firearms was no longer in force, Cyr said. On July 24, Kibby came to the police station, where he collected his property. The firearms included both handguns and long rifles, said Cyr, as well as a shotgun.
Asked to describe the rifles, Cyr, a military veteran, replied: “It would be the type of weapon you would expect a SWAT team member to possess and it would be used for close-quarter combat.”
A SWAT team, complete with an armored vehicle, was among the many police officers who responded on July 28 to Kibby’s home to arrest him for allegedly kidnapping Hernandez on Oct. 9, 2013. On July 20, Hernandez, who is now 15, showed up at her home in Conway, and began speaking with authorities, who later released a sketch of the man she claimed had taken her.
Kibby was arrested without incident on Monday afternoon, and is currently being held at the Carroll County Jail on $1 million cash-only bond. He is due back in Conway District Court Aug. 12.
Meanwhile, Cyr said FBI investigators and the State Police Major Crime Unit continue to pore over Kibby’s property, including a large, metal container behind his trailer home.
Cyr said Gorham police never had occasion to enter either Kibby’s home or the container. At no time has the department received reports of Hernandez being seen anywhere in town, Cyr said.
A member of the Gorham Police Department for 19 years and chief for the last nine, Cyr said the kidnapping of Hernandez is the “most heinous” crime linked to the town in his time there.
“As you know, we’re a tourist community, under 3,000 people, and we wouldn’t expect it to happen in our backyard,” Cyr said, “but when it happens in your backyard, it brings to life that, yes, this can happen in a small community like Gorham, New Hampshire.”
While some Gorham residents are shocked, even more are happy, said Cyr, because Hernandez is now safely home.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her community,” he said.