Abigail Hernandez seeks space to heal from 'acts of unspeakable violence'

Abigail Hernandez was missing for nine months. Her disappearance remains a mystery, but family lawyers ask that people give her "the time and space she needs" to heal.

By , Associated Press

Lawyers representing the New Hampshire teenager who returned home nine months after she vanished on the way home from school say she "suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence."

They put out a statement Tuesday on behalf of Abigail Hernandez and her mother. It was featured on the "Bring Abby Home" website created after the 14-year-old disappeared Oct. 9 on her way home from school.

Now 15, she's alive and home with her family "through her faith, fortitude and resilience," the statement says.

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The statement asks that people be sensitive to Abigail's well-being and "give her the time and space she needs" to heal.

She came home July 20, but the circumstances of her return are just as murky as the details of her disappearance. Police charged 34-year-old Nathaniel Kibby with kidnapping her.

As reported previously, police did reveal several months ago that Abby had written home to her mother. When the letter surfaced, FBI Special Agent In Charge Kieran Ramsey said Abby could have run away willingly or someone could still be coercing her into staying away from home.

Bob Lowery, vice president of the missing-children division at the NCMEC, said Abby's return after such a long disappearance is "unusual but not unprecedented."

"Realistically, the longer children are gone, the likelihood they're going to be found diminishes," Lowery said.

In 2012, NCMEC took on 10,689 missing-children cases and helped resolve all but 81 of them. In most instances, the child was unharmed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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