Missing Conway teen Abigail Hernandez mailed a letter to her mother after she disappeared, law enforcement revealed Friday at a news conference.
The letter was written Oct. 22, postmarked Oct. 23 and received by Abby's mother Nov. 6, according to Associate Attorney General Jane E. Young. Young would not say where the letter had been postmarked, and authorities would not reveal its contents.
The girl, 15, disappeared Oct. 9. She was last seen walking home shortly before 3 p.m. that day from Kennett High School, where she is a freshman.Young said law enforcement did not release the information about the letter earlier because authorities had to "take every possible step to verify its authenticity." (See editorial, Page A1.)"It is one of the most tangible leads we had in the investigation," Young said. "We are concerned for her safety. She is not out there alone."
Law enforcers still don't know Abigail's whereabouts and made a public plea to anyone with information.
Young said they have "grave" concerns for Abigail's safety, pointing out she was not wearing winter-weather clothing when last seen and she has no money. goo.gl/nLtcJh
Dingman asks for parole
Jeffrey A. Dingman was a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Rochester Middle School in 1996 when he and his older brother, Robert, shot their parents to death in one of the state's most brutal teen crimes. Now 31, he stood before the state's Adult Parole Board on Thursday and asked to be freed from prison when he becomes eligible for parole in two months.
The three-member board granted Dingman tentative parole, which requires he remain in the Calumet halfway house in Manchester until he successfully completes his parole plan. Under the plan, Dingman must get professional counseling and undergo an evaluation; get help in learning how to budget his money, rent an apartment and perform other life skills; and develop a more substantial relationship with his mother's sister, Elizabeth Landry, and her husband, Maurice, both of whom support his release on parole.
Dingman has spent more than half his life in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire prisons. His brother, now 35, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and has been serving his sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in Concord. goo.gl/r755fz
Man pleads guilty to wife's death
A Grantham father of four pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of his wife.
James W. Perriello told police he "lost his cool" because, he alleged, his wife was having an affair with a 20-year-old former student of hers at Lebanon High School.
Perriello, 42, was indicted on first- and second-degree murder charges, authorities said. The defense will ask for an 18- to 36-year sentence; state prosecutors will ask for 35 years to life.
On April 26, 2012, police responding to a 911 call found Natalie Perriello's body on the floor outside a bedroom at her home, 80 Doc's Drive. She had been shot in the head six times. goo.gl/tLA0KX
'Robin Hooders' off the hook
Both civil cases filed by the city against six residents who call themselves "Robin Hood and his Merry Men" have been dismissed by Cheshire County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger.
Associated with the Free Keene group, the self-described "Robin Hooders" patrol downtown armed with video cameras and pockets full of change to fill expired parking meters before parking enforcement officers can issue tickets.
The city in May had asked the court to prohibit them from coming within 50 feet of the city's three parking enforcement officers "during the performance of their employment duties for the city," according to the lawsuit. In September, the city filed a second civil suit seeking monetary damages.
In Tuesday's decisions, Kissinger granted the group's motions to dismiss based on their argument that it was within their constitutional right to free speech. goo.gl/rwsojg
Highway worries, gas tax talk
Facing a yearly $20 million deficit in the state highway fund, Department of Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement told a House panel Tuesday the DOT faces 700 layoffs in fiscal year 2016. He said without additional revenue, 20 of the 89 highway sheds would close along with one of the six district offices in the state.
The state's highway fund gets about $120 million a year from the gas tax and about $105 million to $110 million from vehicle registrations. A proposal to increase the gas tax by 12 cents over three years passed the House last session, but was killed in the Senate.
Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, said Tuesday the DOT cannot keep asking for more money.
"We're going to have to look at reducing spending ... rather than increase taxes or tolls," Morse said. "We produce the budget, and (Clement) needs to live within his means."
A bill sponsored by Sen. Jim Rausch, R-Derry, Senate Transportation Committee chairman, will be introduced in the 2014 session to raise the gas tax 4.5 cents, which would raise $32 million a year for highways.
Morse said he would not support Rausch's bill. goo.gl/Bb9CXC
Do you recognize this face?
A year after reopening an investigation into a 1969 murder, police are hoping a facial reconstruction of the victim will help solve the case.
The unidentified man's body was discovered Aug. 7, 1969, in a watery ditch along Interstate 93 between Exits 1 and 2. The body was decomposed, but police could see the man had been shot twice in the head, once in the torso and once in the chest.
The victim's body was exhumed in 2012. His skull was sent to forensic artist Harvey Pratt of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Anyone with information can call Salem police Detective Michael White at 890-2383. goo.gl/B3FYl1
Serial infector gets 39 years
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante on Monday sentenced former traveling medical technician David M. Kwiatkowski to 39 years in prison for infecting 45 patients with hepatitis C while he worked at hospitals in eight states. One of the patients later died.
Kwiatkowski, 34, spread his disease by stealing syringes filled with the painkiller fentanyl, injecting himself, then refilling the syringes with saline and returning them to be administered to patients. Kwiatkowski carried out his drug diversion scheme from 2003 to 2012. It was uncovered in May 2012 when an outbreak of hepatitis C occurred at Exeter Hospital while Kwiatkowski worked there. goo.gl/Huvoys