When 14-year-old Abby Hernandez disappeared on October 9, 2013, walking home from Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire, her family, friends, and community feared the worst. The teen was one of the most sought-after kidnapping victims in the state’s history. But nine months later, she appeared at her mother’s doorstep and told the incredible story of her captivity. During her ordeal, the young girl used every ounce of her strength and courage to survive and gain her kidnapper’s trust, ultimately helping her to escape.
In an exclusive interview airing Friday on ABC’s 20/20, Hernandez details her ordeal for the first time since her return to her family. She recalls how Kibby cuffed her and placed a jacket over her head, and that she tried to peek around the coat and out the car window in order to see where they were headed. But Kibby caught her, and he broke her phone in fear that authorities could track it with its GPS capabilities.
She also reveals how her kidnapper allowed her to write a letter to her mother. She says that her first draft ended up in the trash because she accidentally imprinted on it with her fingernail the word “help,” which Kibby punished her for. But he let her try again, and she wrote an entire letter that would eventually reach her family. Law enforcement held onto that letter for a month before releasing it to the public out of concern that if they released it too soon, they could cause her more harm.