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Abigail Hernandez: Teen reunited with family after missing for nine months

After nine grueling and heartbreaking months, a 15-year-old girl from Conway, New Hampshire, who mysteriously disappeared on a routine walk from her high school to her home on October 9, 2013, was joyfully reunited with her family on the evening of July 20. Abigail Hernandez, who sent several texts from her cell on that walk home between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. simply disappeared before making it home. Although the focus is now on the fact that she’s home, and she’s safe, questions still remain as to how she disappeared and where she’s been.

Images from 'Missing Abigail Hernandez'
Images from 'Missing Abigail Hernandez'
Missing Abigail Hernandez/Facebook
‘Today we are the happiest people on earth.’  ~ Abigail’s mom
Missing Abigail Hernandez / Facebook

Fox News reported Attorney General Joseph Foster as breaking the news about Abigail being safely reunited with her family on Sunday night. Abigail’s family is seeking the public’s indulgence in respecting their family’s privacy at this time. Foster did share that Abigail’s mom, Zenya Hernandez, said that "today we are the happiest people on earth."

Abigail was walking home from Kennett High School in Conway when she disappeared. According to police, she had taken the same route home from school that she always took when she went missing those nine long months ago. Rewards for information concerning her case ranged from $20,000 to $60,000.

Making a mysterious situation even more mysterious, Abigail apparently wrote and mailed a letter to her mother later in October 2013. The letter was written on Oct. 22, postmarked Oct. 23, but not received at the family home until Nov. 6, according to The Huffington Post. The FBI’s thoughts when the letter surfaced included speculation that the teen had run away, or that another party was coercing her from returning home. Following Abigail’s disappearance, authorities said that no evidence of a kidnapping existed and treated Abigail’s situation as a missing person’s case.

CBS News in Boston reported FBI Special Agent In Charge Kieran Ramsey saying on Monday that “The long and short of it is, quite honestly, we are just happy that she’s home safe and sound right now.” Ramsey would not discuss any specific details concerning the investigation into Abigail’s disappearance or reemergence, but did say that the investigation is still going forward.

After Abigail disappeared, rescue workers, volunteers and police searched the area woods around Conway as well as local bodies of water for the missing teen. Police also conducted searches by air, stopped local traffic, and handed out flyers in their search for Abigail, according to MSN. For more on Abigail's safe return home, see the video accompanying this article.

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