CONWAY, New Hampshire — A 34-year-old man appeared in court on Tuesday charged with kidnapping a New Hampshire teenager who mysteriously reappeared last week in the small mountain town of Conway after nine months.
A judge ordered Nathaniel Kibby held on $1 million cash bail on a charge of felony kidnapping.
The hearing at Conway District Court marked the first public appearance by the girl since her return a week ago, with no explanation offered for how she left her captor.
Frail-looking and thin, the 15-year-old sat with her mother behind prosecutors at the court hearing and left without commenting to reporters.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials refused to answer questions about how Hernandez was able to return to Conway or the circumstances of her confinement, citing the criminal investigation.
“This has been an unusual case from the get-go for us,” FBI Special Agent Kieran Ramsey old reporters. “We have seen our worst fears come true in some cases, but in the end we’ve seen our best hopes realized. And that is the fact that [the girl] is here with us today.”
A senior state prosecutor said additional charges could be brought pending the search of Kibby’s residence.
Kibby was arrested at his mobile home in Gorham, New Hampshire, about 30 miles north of Conway, on Monday, about a week after the girl returned home. The teen was reported missing on Oct. 9, 2013, after she failed to come home from high school.
Court records indicate Kibby had frequent run-ins with law enforcement. On March 4, 2014, while the girl was missing, Kibby was charged with simple assault, trespassing and loitering.