A judge in New Hampshire set the bail against the man accused of kidnapping teenager Abigail Hernandez nine months ago at $1 million, cash only, as the girl watched from the front row of the courtroom.
Nathaniel Kibby, 34, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of felony kidnapping – charge that carries up to seven years in prison if convicted. The only time he spoke was to answer, "Yes I am, your honor" when the judge asked if he would seek a public defender.
Kibby was arrested Monday without incident at his Gorham, N.H., home.
The judge denied public defender Jesse Friedman's request to unseal affidavits, search warrants and other investigative material before the hearing. Friedman argued it was impossible for him to begin to defend Kibby without knowing the facts that led to his arrest.
Hernandez, then 14, vanished on Oct. 9 after leaving Kennett High School to walk to her North Conway home, police said. The teen returned home last week.
Authorities have not explained the circumstances of her disappearance or return.
Attorney General Joseph Foster said Monday that Abigail provided the police with details of her kidnapping that led to Kibby's arrest.
Kieran Ramsey, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, said the investigation hinged on three factors: The community outreach, the team of investigators who followed up on every tip and, mostly, Abigail.
"Abby herself helped her safe return through her courage and resolve to come home," Ramsey said.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young, who heads the criminal bureau, would not comment on what Kibby does for a living or supply other details about his background.
Young said that when the girl disappeared, she apparently had no way to get about or secure food, shelter or other necessities on her own. She said that the teen "went dark" and could not be traced through social media for the duration of her absence.
However, police revealed several months ago that the girl had written to her mother. When the letter surfaced, Ramsey said it was possible the girl had run away but that someone could be coercing her into staying away. Police have not revealed the contents of the letter.
Hernandez and her mother Zenya were in the courthouse during the afternoon arraignment.
In a statement Monday, the 15-year-old teen thanking the people who helped her return home.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be home and I believe in my heart that your hopes and prayers played a major role in my release,” she said. “Thank you all for the welcome home.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.