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Questions linger after missing teen returns home

  • FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday July 22, 2014, a missing person poster of Abigail Hernandez displayed in a storefront window in North Conway, N.H., shows Hernandez has been found. Hernandez, 15, returned home nine months after vanishing on her way home from high school. But the happy ending did not put an end to the mystery of where she was, who she was with and just what happened to her. (AP Photo)

    FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday July 22, 2014, a missing person poster of Abigail Hernandez displayed in a storefront window in North Conway, N.H., shows Hernandez has been found. Hernandez, 15, returned home nine months after vanishing on her way home from high school. But the happy ending did not put an end to the mystery of where she was, who she was with and just what happened to her. (AP Photo)

  • FILE-In this Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 file photo, local and state police with FBI agents set up a road block questioning drivers on the road in North Conway, N.H., where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Since her return July 20, 2014 to her New Hampshire home, 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has been removed from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website, and missing-person posters around her hometown are now scrawled with “Found.” But investigators are left with questions about how and why she vanished after leaving her high school Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. (AP Photo//File)

    FILE-In this Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 file photo, local and state police with FBI agents set up a road block questioning drivers on the road in North Conway, N.H., where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Since her return July 20, 2014 to her New Hampshire home, 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has been removed from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website, and missing-person posters around her hometown are now scrawled with “Found.” But investigators are left with questions about how and why she vanished after leaving her high school Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. (AP Photo//File)

  • FILE-In this photo taken Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 state and local police, with FBI agents set up a road block questioning drivers on the road in North Conway, N.H., where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Since her return July 20, 2014 to her New Hampshire home, 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has been removed from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website, and missing-person posters around her hometown are now scrawled with “Found.” But investigators are left with questions about how and why she vanished after leaving her high school Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE-In this photo taken Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 state and local police, with FBI agents set up a road block questioning drivers on the road in North Conway, N.H., where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Since her return July 20, 2014 to her New Hampshire home, 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has been removed from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website, and missing-person posters around her hometown are now scrawled with “Found.” But investigators are left with questions about how and why she vanished after leaving her high school Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. (AP Photo/File)

  • FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday July 22, 2014, a missing person poster of Abigail Hernandez displayed in a storefront window in North Conway, N.H., shows Hernandez has been found. Hernandez, 15, returned home nine months after vanishing on her way home from high school. But the happy ending did not put an end to the mystery of where she was, who she was with and just what happened to her. (AP Photo)
  • FILE-In this Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 file photo, local and state police with FBI agents set up a road block questioning drivers on the road in North Conway, N.H., where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Since her return July 20, 2014 to her New Hampshire home, 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has been removed from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website, and missing-person posters around her hometown are now scrawled with “Found.” But investigators are left with questions about how and why she vanished after leaving her high school Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. (AP Photo//File)
  • FILE-In this photo taken Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 state and local police, with FBI agents set up a road block questioning drivers on the road in North Conway, N.H., where 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez would have walked home from school. Since her return July 20, 2014 to her New Hampshire home, 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has been removed from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website, and missing-person posters around her hometown are now scrawled with “Found.” But investigators are left with questions about how and why she vanished after leaving her high school Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. (AP Photo/File)

Since 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez returned home last week, her photo has been taken off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website. The missing-person posters that hung in her hometown for nine months are now scrawled with “Found.” Her mother says she and her family are “the happiest people on earth.”

But investigators are left with questions about how and why Abby vanished after leaving her high school in Conway on Oct. 9 and who may have helped conceal her for so long. Law enforcement officers have repeatedly asked for the public’s help but have revealed very little.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young, who heads the criminal bureau, said law enforcement is still devoting a tremendous amount of time and resources to unravel the mystery.

Based on Abby’s description, authorities released a sketch of the man she says drove her away last October year, but they’re still trying to determine whether she went willingly or was coerced.

“We continue to say we have a number of questions we don’t have answers to,” Young said.

Young won’t comment on Abby’s degree of cooperation into the investigation.

Abby’s family released a statement Friday night, saying she has been undergoing medical treatment.

“Right now, Abby is resting, extremely tired and in deteriorated health, and has lost a lot of weight,” they said in the statement, obtained by the Boston Globe. “She is working to build her strength back and we hope soon she will be back on solid foods.”

Police revealed several months ago that Abby had written home to her mother during her disappearance. When the letter surfaced, FBI Special Agent In Charge Kieran Ramsey said Abby could have run away willingly or someone could still be coercing her into staying away from home.

Bob Lowery, vice president of the missing-children division at the NCMEC, said Abby’s return after such a long disappearance is “unusual but not unprecedented.”

In 2012, NCMEC took on 10,689 missing-children cases and helped resolve all but 81 of them. In most instances, the child was unharmed.

In Abby’s case, there must be a lot going on behind the scenes that the public doesn’t know about, said Albert “Buzz” Scherr, who teaches criminal law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

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