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Wed, 13 Aug 2014 16:53:14 +0000
(CONWAY, N.H.) -- The lawyer for Abigail Hernandez, the New Hampshire girl who disappeared for nine months, said Wednesday she was "violently abducted" and endured “numerous acts of unspeakable violence.”
It was the first time anyone from the girl's family, police or her lawyers have addressed the circumstances of her disappearance during her walk home from school on Oct. 9, 2013.
"Abby was violently abducted by a stranger. For many months, she suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence," attorney Michael Coyne said in a letter posted on the website dedicated to her search efforts. "Through her faith, fortitude and resilience, she is alive today and home with her family."
Coyne said that they decided to release the statement in an effort to dispel some of the speculation that has risen as a result of the tight-lipped investigation.
"Discussing the situation with Abby, the real concern is that there's been a lot of misinformation, there's been a lot of hurtful accusations and she's got enough to deal with presently physically and emotionally," Coyne said.
Because of the silence around her disappearance, questions were asked about how she first encountered her abductor and what led her to be released before she walked into her mother's home on July 20.
Investigators arrested Nathaniel Kibby, 34, and charged him with kidnapping Hernandez, but they have not given any details about how he allegedly kidnapped her, where the teen was for nine months or what she endured. More information and the probable cause statement were originally due to be shared in court this week, but that hearing has been pushed back until September.
"With respect to the specific acts of the case, we're really not going to release any further details," Coyne told ABC News.
The lawyer's statement hinted at trauma suffered by the teen.
"Abby needs and wants some time and space to physically and emotionally heal. It is going to be a long process in pursuit of justice for Abby and for Abby to get physically and emotionally stronger," Coyne wrote.
"As the justice system moves forward, and the evidence is revealed, questions about this horrific event will be answered," the statement said.
The lawyer said that he and his legal partners, Steven Hyde and Briana Coakley, only started working on the case within the last week and were put in touch with the Hernandez family through mutual friends. Coyne said that they are handling the case free of charge.
"We're really here to help," he said.
Hernandez, who turned 15 while she was missing, was seen in the front row of the courtroom when Kibby was first charged with kidnapping.
Police have been seen searching Kibby's mobile home in Gorham, New Hampshire, as well as a shipping container unit that was also found on his property.
At an emergency hearing on Aug. 6, Associate Attorney General Jane Young told the court that the container was divided into three sections, one of which that she would not describe it publicly. Young did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.
In her only public appearance aside from the hearing, Hernandez and her mother stopped by a local newspaper's office to thank them for their continued coverage throughout her disappearance. During that visit, Hernandez said that she had seen issues of the paper, The Conway Daily Sun, at different points while she was being held.
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