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Abigail Hernandez says she's a survivor, not a victim

CONWAY — Abigail Hernandez sent a message Thursday to all of those watching her case unfold.

“I do not want to be treated like a victim,” she told close family friend Amanda Smith. “I want to be treated as a survivor.”

Abigail sat in court Tuesday as her alleged kidnapper, Nathaniel E. Kibby, was arraigned in Conway District Court and ordered held on a $1 million cash-only bond pending a probable-cause hearing on Aug. 12.
Hernandez’s disappearance last Oct. 9 launched a massive search that ended July 20, when the 15-year-old returned home.

“Her recovery is ongoing, but she continues to get better every day,” Smith said.

Among those testifying to Abigail’s current healthiness is her father, Ruben Hernandez of Tamworth, who is divorced from her mom, Zenya Hernandez, but stays close to his daughter.
“My level of joy is beyond measure,” he said. “To try to put it into words, it’s similar to when I first set eyes on Abby the day she came into the world,” he said Thursday.

He had no trouble describing his daughter’s health.
“I have seen Abby and I think she looks great. She is as beautiful as ever,” said Ruben Hernandez.

As for her alleged kidnapper?

“Of course I’m glad they arrested (Kibby),” he said. “I look forward to the day when we can put this behind us so that Abby can resume a normal life. She deserves that.”
Ruben Hernandez has no doubt who to credit for his daughter’s return.

“What we are all witnessing here is answered prayer, the miracle of God’s blessings,” he said. “I am thankful to all who prayed and kept the faith.”

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