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Abigail Hernandez: Sketch released of man who drove her away 9 months ago

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Abigail Hernandez, the 15-year-old girl from Conway, New Hampshire, who went missing when walking home from school on Oct. 9, 2013 and then mysteriously reappeared at her mom’s home on July 20 with no explanation as to where she’s been for the last nine months, has been working with investigators to come up with a sketch of the man who drove her away in his pickup truck. Authorities still aren't commenting on the level of Abby’s cooperation, or if she ran away or was abducted.

The sketch was released last Thursday, according to a July 26 report from The Christian Science Monitor. Investigators, still reportedly baffled as to any specific details regarding Abby’s disappearance, have been seeking the public’s assistance for any information in the teen’s missing person’s case – but have thus far come up short with any info as to why she disappeared, or where she’s been.

In Abby's case, there must be a lot going on behind the scenes that the public doesn't know about, said Albert "Buzz" Scherr, who teaches criminal law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

"You never get cases like this where you're at the end game of the case, and it's completely unclear what happened," Scherr said.

Scherr went on to say that potential criminal charges abound in the case, presumably for Abby, the man who drove her away, or for citizens refusing to help with the investigation. Those charges could include “’kidnapping, impeding an investigation or hindering apprehension or prosecution "if there are people out there who knew more than what they told police to cover for Abby,"’ Scherr said.

Jane Young, New Hampshire’s Senior Assistant Attorney General, said that all arms of the law are still devoting much time and many resources to try and unravel the mystery behind Abby’s disappearance. And although Abby helped with the sketch of the man who drove her away last October, authorities still don’t know if the teen went off on her own accord or was coerced. "We continue to say we have a number of questions we don't have answers to," Young said. There is still no evidence of foul play regarding the teen’s disappearance, leading many to believe that Abby willingly “went dark," according to Young.

Regarding the sketch that was released last Thursday with Abby’s input, Joseph A. Foster, New Hampshire’s Attorney General, released a statement accompanying the sketch. The Boston Globe shared part of Foster’s statement.

“We are all pleased Abigail was returned safely to her family.”

“The individual or individuals who were involved with her disappearance and absence will now have to face the consequences of any unlawful actions.”

While helping investigators with the sketch of the man that drove her away, Abby also shared a description of the man, his truck, and when they drove off together. Abby described the pickup truck driver as being slightly overweight, taller than her 5 feet 4 inches, large build with “darkish skin, dark brown eyes, and black stubble facial hair.”

Abby also shared that the man drove her away between 2:20 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. from North-South Road in Conway on October 9 – and that his pickup truck was navy blue. “Anyone with information about the man in the sketch is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636 or the Conway Police Department at 603-356-5715.”

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