Abby Hernandez's mother writes her a Christmas letter

"I just want to see you again."

A PHOTO of Abby with her mother Zenya in May 2013 that appears on Zenya's Facebook page. (click for larger version)
December 26, 2013
CONWAY — Zenya Hernandez has written a Christmas letter to her daughter Abby that is circulating online in the hope that Abby will see it and come home for the holiday. The letter is dated Dec. 19 and reads:

"Dear Abby, I love you so much! I hope you see this letter. I hate communicating in a letter like this, but it is the only way I know how to possibly get a message to you. Your letter was the greatest gift I ever received. I thank God every day that you are alive! I miss hearing your voice and your sense of humor. You made me laugh so much, and I miss it. Please call me. I just want to hear your voice! I so want to see you again and hug you! Please let me know what I can do to help you. I want you to be happy. I will come get you, if you need me to. Please let me come pick you up. I just want to see you again. When I see you again we can start a new life, and all of this attention – all of this will be a thing of the past. I will do whatever it takes. I just want to see you again. Sarah sends big hugs. She misses you too, and wants to see you again. We all love you! Please come home for Christmas! Love, Mom." And with her signature, Zenya also drew a Christmas tree at the bottom of the letter.

Abby Hernandez, 15, was last seen leaving Kennett High School in North Conway on Oct. 9. Throughout the investigation, police have released little information or evidence they have, but in a press conference Dec. 6 announced that Zenya had received a letter from Abby about a month after her disappearance.

N.H. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young told the roomful of reporters that a letter was written by Abby, dated Oct. 22 and postmarked Oct. 23. The letter was received by Zenya and turned over to police Nov. 6. The reason, Young said, that law enforcement officials did not make the letter publicly known prior to Dec. 6 is because they needed to "take every possible step to verify its authenticity." She said the letter was a "critical lead" for law enforcement and it was "one of the most tangible leads" they had in the investigation. She declined to release any details about the letter including its length, where it was postmarked, its tone, or any of its specific wording.

FBI Special Agent Kieran Ramsey said officials have confirmed the letter's authenticity. "When we received this letter, I will tell you it was unprecedented. We have not seen anything like that in recent time in other investigations, but most importantly it gave us hope," he said.

Young said since the letter was received there has been no other contact from Abby. She said police have confirmed Abby has no source of income and they continue to be "very concerned for her safety". "She is not out there alone," said Young, "She has someone who is helping her, whether that is a friend or a foe. If someone thinks they are helping her, I assure you that you are not."

Young said police chose not to release the letter because they feared it would generate letters from someone other than Abby and lead police down another trail.

Young said some have questioned why, if Abby might be a runaway, would police expend all of these resources searching for her. Young reminded the public that Abby is a child. "If this was your child, what would you want law enforcement to do?" she asked.

"Our worst fear is that even if she left willingly – someone may now being coercing or manipulating her. Her safety is still absolutely in question," said Ramsey.

Young asked the public to continue to be vigilant, to pay attention if there is someone new in the neighborhood, at the grocery store, at church, and every lead will continue to be followed up on by investigators.

Abby is described as five feet four inches tall, weighing 118 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Abby's whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at (800) 225-5324 or Conway Police Department at (603)356-5715.

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