The Crimes of Nate Kibby

14-Year-Old Was Missing for 9 Months

Nathaniel Kibby
Nate Kibby. Mug Shot

On October 9, 2013, a 14-year-old student left Kennett High School in Conway, New Hampshire and started walking home by her usual route. She sent several text messages between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. during her walk, but she never made it home.

Nine months later, on Sunday, July 20, 2014, the state attorney general announced that the teen had been "reunited with her family" and that the family was asking for privacy.

Additionally, authorities were tight-lipped about the case, giving no details whatsoever to the media.

Kibby Faces Additional Charges

July 29, 2015 - A New Hampshire man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and holding her captive for nine months has now been charged with threatening the lead prosecutor in the case. Nathaniel Kibby has been charged with improper influence, criminal threatening, and obstructing government administration.

The charges stem from a phone call that he made from jail which was recorded. In the Carroll County House of Corrections phone call, Kibby made vulgar threats to harm Associate Attorney General Jane Young.

Young was not the recipient of the phone call. The improper influence charge is a felony while the other two new charges are misdemeanors.

Kibby's trial is scheduled to begin in March 2016. He faces 205 charges related to the kidnapping of a Conway high school student who he took to his Gorham home and forced her to remain there and in a storage shed using threats, a stun gun, zip ties, and a shock collar.

Kibby Indicted on 205 Charges

Dec. 17, 2014 - A man arrested for kidnapping a New Hampshire 14-year-old and holding her captive for nine months has been indicted on more than 200 charges related to the case. Nathaniel Kibby could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the charges.

Kibby was indicted on 205 charges that included kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, criminal threatening, illegal use of a gun and illegal use of an electronic restraint device.

When the grand jury indictment was released this week, more than 150 of the charges were redacted in an effort to not cause further harm to the teenaged victim, authorities said. Those charges are related to the sexual assault of the girl.

According to the parts of the indictment that were not redacted, Kibby used a stun gun, a dog shock collar, zip ties and death threats to the girl, her family and her pets to maintain control over her during her nine months in captivity.

While she was in captivity, Kibby would gag the teen, put a shirt over her head and face, and put a motorcycle helmet over that while she was zip-tied to a bed. He also used a fake surveillance camera to control her. He was also indicted for destroying evidence by disposing of many of the items that he used to control his victim.

The victim's family has asked that her name and photo no longer be used because it could hamper her recovery and authorities and some media outlets have complied with that request.

However, the family sought extensive coverage of the case while the teen was missing, setting up a website publicizing the case. Even after Kibby was arrested, the family made statements through their attorney naming the victim; and the teenager herself appeared at Kibby's arraignment and was photographed in the courtroom, as we reported earlier.

The About.com Crime & Punishment website will not use the victim's name and photo in coverage going forward.

'Numerous Acts of Unspeakable Violence'

Aug. 12, 2014 - An attorney for the New Hampshire teen who was abducted at age 14 and returned home nine months later said the girl suffered "numerous acts of unspeakable violence" during her captivity and now needs time and space to heal.

Michael Coyne, attorney for Abby Hernandez and her mother posted the following statement on the "Bring Abby Home" website:

On behalf of Abigail Hernandez and her mother, Zenya Hernandez, we want to thank the New Hampshire State Police, the FBI, the Conway Police Department, all of the many law enforcement agencies that were involved in this effort, the community of Conway, the people of New England and everyone that cared about Abby’s abduction and prayed for Abby’s safe return as well as the media’s efforts to bring attention to her kidnapping and assist with her miraculous survival.

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. We do not intend to have this case tried in the press. As the justice system moves forward, and the evidence is revealed, questions about this horrific event will be answered. Abby was violently abducted by a stranger. For many months, she suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence. Through her faith, fortitude and resilience, she is alive today and home with her family.

Abby simply asks that you respect her wishes and the justice process as this case moves forward. We trust that justice will be done. On behalf of Abby, we ask that you be sensitive to the well-being of this child and give her the time and space she needs — that any of us would desire for a member of our own family or loved one who suffered as she has.

Few Investigation Details Released

July 29, 2014 - With very little official information available, speculation ran wild that, because she was missing for nine months, the teen was pregnant, she went away to have the baby and then returned home to her family.

That story was false.

Some of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Abby began to be revealed with the arrest of a 34-year-old Gorham, New Hampshire man in connection with the case. Nathaniel E. Kibby was arrested July 28, 2014, and charged with felony kidnapping.

However, when he was arraigned Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in ​the circuit court, prosecutors and law enforcement were still not releasing many details about the on-going investigation.

Defense Attorney Seeks Information

Kibby's attorney, public defender Jesse Friedman, asked the judge to force prosecutors to turn over the probable cause and search warrant affidavits so that he could know how to advise his client.

"We're in the position that essentially all that we have is a piece of paper," said Friedman about the police complaint. "In order to adequately defend Nate, we need an opportunity to see that (other documents)."

More Charges Coming?

The piece of paper in question is the one-sentence police complaint against Kibby which said he committed the crime of kidnapping and ​that he "knowingly confined A.H. with a purpose to commit an offense against her."

The complaint did not specify what offense Kibby committed against Hernandez.

"I have no idea what offense they are alluding to because I don't have information other than what's on this piece of paper," said Friedman. "I'm not sure as a matter of constitutionally defending Nate, I can even explain to him what he's being charged with because I don't know."

Search Warrants Issued

Associate Attorney General Jane Young told the court that she had just received the defense's motion to unseal the affidavits and under court rules, she had 10 days to respond. Young told the judge that the investigation is on-going and information in those affidavits could hamper that investigation.

Young said the search warrants in question were being carried out at the time and depending on what they found more search warrants may be requested.

Shipping Container Searched?

Photographs taken by reporters of Kibby's mobile home in Gorham showed police crime tape around a metal shipping container which appeared to be set up as a storage shed in Kibby's backyard. Authorities would not confirm that Abby had been confined inside that container.

Judge Pamela Albee denied the defense motion and ordered the records sealed. She also set August 12 for a probable cause hearing in the case. She set Kibby's bail at $1 million and set conditions he would have to meet if he was able to post bond.

Abby Faces Her Abductor

Abby Hernandez attended Kibby's arraignment. The 15-year-old walked into the courtroom, followed by her mother, sister, and other supporters and sat in the front row behind the prosecutor's table. Asked by reporters as she left the courtroom if she had anything to say, the teen told them firmly, "No."

Following the hearing, a press conference was conducted by state Attorney General Joseph Foster, Kieran Ramsey of the FBI, and Young. They gave few details of the investigation, but they praised the courage and strength of Abby and her family in helping with the investigation.

Abby's Courage, Strength Hailed

FBI Agent Ramsey said the community and the team of investigators were important in bringing about an arrest, but most of the credit goes to Abby.

“Abby herself helped her safe return through her courage and resolve to come home,” Ramsey said.

Family members said that Abby had lost weight and appeared malnourished when she returned home July 20. "She is working to build her strength back and we hope soon she will be back on solid foods," the family said.

No Longer Weak

"Abby is very thin and weak. We continue to work towards getting her to eat," family friend Amanda Smith said in a statement. "Abby has shown incredible courage through this. She is beyond grateful to be home and is just relaxing, resting, trying to get her health back."

When she walked into the courtroom to face Nathaniel Kibby July 29, she looked anything but weak.