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October 26. 2013 8:19PM

500 attend Conway vigil for Abigail; mom pleads for information


Abigail Hernandez's mother, Zenya Hernandez, addresses Saturday's gathering, as Paul Kirsch of the White Mountain Milers holds a microphone and as Abigail's sister, Sarah, looks on. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

CONWAY - Zenya Hernandez spoke adamantly and directly as she addressed a crowd of about 500 people who attended a vigil Saturday night for her missing daughter, Abigail Hernandez.

"Somebody knows about what happened" to Abigail, she said, urging crowd members to watch others around them "who may have changed their behavior" since Abigail's disappearance.

"We ask God to help us find her," she said.

Abigail's sister, Sarah, issued a simple plea: "Abby, I really miss you. We really want you back."

Hernandez was last seen leaving Kennett High School on Oct. 9, just days before her 15th birthday on Oct. 12.

FBI Agent Kieran Ramsey said investigators have not ruled out any potential outcome in the case.

Authorities have extensively searched the Cranmore Mountain area, and were back in the field Saturday joining teams of volunteer searchers from The Mission for the Missing.

According to Alan Tate, coordinator for The Mission for the Missing team in Conway, groups of 60 searchers - former law enforcement officers, search teams, and others - used 12 dog teams to search areas of town and parts of the nearby Kancamagus Highway.

Search teams from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts joined New Hampshire teams in town Saturday.

Local residents and businesses helped the White Mountain Milers running club organize the vigil, said Paul Kirsch of the club. The local Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's stores provided coffee.

"This community has come together for this cause. It's been really amazing," Kirsch said.

The club is hosting its annual half-marathon in town Sunday. Over the past several years, the club has raised and donated more than $80,000 in scholarship funds for area students, Kirsch said.

dseufert@newstote.com


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