July 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

New Hampshire man held on $1M in teen's kidnapping

Nathaniel E. Kibby (AP)

Conway, N.H. — A New Hampshire man charged with kidnapping a teenage girl nine months ago was ordered held on $1 million bail after a brief court appearance Tuesday.

Abigail Hernandez disappeared after leaving her high school in October and returned home last week.

Nathaniel Kibby was arrested Monday without incident at his Gorham home, about 30 miles north of where Hernandez lives. He’s charged with felony kidnapping, a charge that carries up to seven years in jail if convicted.

He was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held on $1 million cash bail. The only time he spoke was to answer, “Yes I am, your honor” when the judge asked if he would seek a public defender.

The judge denied public defender Jesse Friedman’s request to unseal affidavits, search warrants and other investigative material before the hearing. Friedman argued it was impossible for him to begin to defend Kibby without knowing the facts that led to his arrest.

Police said Kibby, 34, confined Abigail, then 14, on Oct. 9, sometime after she left Kennett High School to walk to her North Conway home. Abigail, who turned 15 a week after she disappeared, returned home the night of July 20, but authorities have not explained the circumstances of her disappearance or return.

Attorney General Joseph Foster said Monday that Abigail provided the police with details of her kidnapping that led to Kibby’s arrest.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young, who heads the criminal bureau, would not comment on what Kibby does for a living or supply other details about his background.

Abigail earlier issued a statement, which was posted on Facebook, thanking people who searched for her and saying she believes their hopes and prayers “played a major role in my release.”

Young said that when the girl disappeared, she apparently had no way to get about or secure food, shelter or other necessities on her own. She said that the teen “went dark” and could not be traced through social media for the duration of her absence.

However, police revealed several months ago that the girl had written to her mother. When the letter surfaced, FBI agent Kieran Ramsey said it was possible the girl had run away but that someone could be coercing her into staying away. Police have not revealed the contents of the letter.