(CONWAY, N.H.) — Abigail Hernandez’s mother told their local newspaper the teen saw reports about her disappearance while she was missing for nine months.
Hernandez and her mother stopped by The Conway Daily Sun‘s offices and cited a daily ticker box feature in the paper that showed how many days Hernandez had been missing, as Hernandez gave the paper her first media interview since she returned home July 20.
“Abby saw that [ticker box] off and on,” her mother, Zenya Hernandez, told the paper on Thursday. “She didn’t see it every day. It gave her hope that people were looking. It was one of the first things she said to me when she returned home, is, ‘Thank you to The Conway Daily Sun.'”
The teen returned to her mother’s home in Conway, New Hampshire, on July 20 after vanishing during her walk home from school on Oct. 9, 2013.
Police have arrested Nathaniel Kibby, a 34-year-old man from a town 34 miles away, in connection to Abby’s disappearance. He was arraigned Tuesday and Abigail was sitting in the front row alongside her mother during the hearing.
“I’m taking it a little at a time but I’m feeling a lot better every day,” the 15-year-old said during the informal meeting at the local newspaper.
Abigail, who was reportedly malnourished and unable to eat solid foods when she first returned home, was pictured smiling at the newspaper offices with her mother and a family friend while wearing a t-shirt that said “C.S.I. Can’t Stand Idiots.”
She told the paper that she wants to “be treated like a normal person” and revisit old pastimes like horseback riding.
“I really miss that,” she said.
Neither the Hernandezes nor police have released any information about where she was or what happened to her during her disappearance because the investigation is ongoing.
The only charge listed against Kibby claimed he “confined [Hernandez] with a purpose to commit an offense against her.” No plea was entered at the hearing. Authorities may bring more charges at the next hearing in the case on Aug. 12.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Stephanie Elam, CNN