The disappearance of New Hampshire teen Abigail Hernandez, home after nine months missing, remains as mysterious as the day she vanished:
This past weekend the now-15-year-old girl -- believed by many to be dead -- suddenly came home, putting an end to the seemingly fruitless and heart-wrenching search for her, but not to the intrigue surrounding the case.
To be sure, Hernandez's return to her family and hometown "in good condition" this July is an unusually happy ending for one who has been gone so long without a trace. But it still leaves all the important questions about her strange absence unanswered.
Did she willingly leave with someone according to a secret plan? Or was she snatched, drugged, and transported someplace to be exploited and abused by strangers? And where has this child actually been all the months she was missing?
“At the time of her disappearance, Abigail was 14-years-old and had no known means to facilitate her disappearance or provide herself with shelter, meals, or other necessities over the ensuing nine months,” reads a joint statement released early this week by New Hampshire prosecutors and police.
“Should the investigation reveal evidence that a person or persons were involved with Abigail’s disappearance and/or detainment or concealment, then the appropriate criminal charges will be brought.”
Fighting words and a daunting goal, but in truth all that's really left to go on still are the missing-person posters bearing a prodigal daughter's Mona Lisa expression and her equally beguiling smile. And even these are now quickly fading from view.
So, with no satisfactory explanation in hand nor suspects in custody, investigators are determined to once and for all resolve the Hernandez mystery.
In that renewed effort, they're amping up their criminal probe into what exactly occurred that afternoon in October 2013 when young Abigail Hernandez walked home after school but for some bizarre reason never made it to her house again.
Which means either she herself can't remember what happened ... or else she isn't telling.
First article since February -- apologies for my own unexplained vanishing act -- rumors of my death, however, are great exaggerations. (Or at least a bit premature.)