Search for missing NH teen expands with FBI checkpoint near high school

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October 11, 2013, 5:27 pm

(NECN:  Lauren Collins, Conway, NH)  - Friday's expanded search for Abigail Hernandez included an FBI checkpoint set up a few hundred yards from Kennett High School. Agents handed out fliers, questioned drivers and took down license plate numbers.

"They asked if I were familiar with her and I don't know her," says Joyce Thompson, who took the missing poster because "I work at McDonald's. I took one so I could post it at work."

Investigators were on the road that Hernandez likely walked Wednesday afternoon. Search dogs traced her to the townhouse where she lives with her mom, so authorities believe she did make it home. What happened after that remains a mystery.

A helicopter and officers also intensified their focus on a wooded area near Pudding Pond. They searched that earlier in the day.

"It escalated really badly" said North Conway resident Tommy Leach of the search. "So I knew something was up if the FBI is coming in here. There's more to this story than what we're led on to and being a parent, that is kind of nerve racking."

"We continue to treat this as what it is at this juncture, a missing persons investigation," said Senior Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Jane Young.

The FBI has released a new photograph of Hernandez, likely the last one taken of her. It's from the security camera at Kennett High, snapped shortly before she disappeared.

And while the agency had called up help from as far away as Virginia, the state Attorney General's office stressed at a noon time press conference that, at this point, they're only here to help.

"We're trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together, to find Abby and to bring her home to her mother, her father, and her sister," said Young, adding, "we are employing you and the public to help us in that matter."

Tags: FBI, Lauren Collins, missing girl, missing teen , Jane Young, north conway new hampshire, conway new hampshire, kennett high school, joyce thompson
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