Six months later, Abigail's disappearance still a mystery
CONWAY – On Wednesday, Abigail Hernandez will have been missing for six months.
But family members, friends, and law enforcement investigators still believe Hernandez, 15, is alive somewhere, and may be held against her will.
A few weeks after her disappearance, Abigail's mother, Zenya Hernandez, received a letter from her daughter. Law enforcement officials are still not planning on releasing the contents of the letter.
"We've exploited everything we could in terms of investigations with that letter," said the FBI's Kieran Ramsey, one of the lead investigators in the case.
"The fact is there has been no contact since that letter, and we are absolutely still concerned about her safety," Ramsey said.
Still, though, investigators aren't sure what might be going through the girl's mind.
"We don't know if she can communicate or if she wants to communicate," he said.
Ramsey said police investigators in recent weeks have found "new investigative avenues" in the missing person case and are pursuing them. The FBI's $20,000 reward for information leading to Abigail's whereabouts still stands, he said.
"We don't generally do things by the calendar, but we are acutely aware that it has been six months," he said. "We aren't giving up."
Hernandez, a freshman at Kennett High School, was last seen leaving the school on Oct. 9. She is 5-foot-4, weighs 118 pounds, and has long brown hair and brown eyes.
She vanished during one of the busiest tourist times of the year in the Conway area. Anyone with information about her disappearance is urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Her father, Ruben Hernandez, last week said he continues to pray for his daughter's return.
"We are coming up on half a year and I am not giving up hope," Hernandez said. "I continue to pray that Abby is safe and that she will contact me."
Abigail's sister, Sarah Hernandez, 18, made a statement Monday that she hopes Abigail will see.
"I want Abby to know I really love her and miss her," Sarah Hernandez said.
The two girls' mother, Zenya Hernandez, said Monday that she is having a private gathering with close friends and family at her home to mark the six-month anniversary of Abigail's disappearance.
"I just pray that Abby is OK," Zenya Hernandez said.
"We will never stop looking for her. We will never lose hope. Abby is all we think and talk about. We really, really miss her and just want to see her again."