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CONCORD, N.H. – A New Hampshire man faces more than 200 counts charging him with snatching a 14-year-old girl as she walked home from high school last year, imprisoning her and sexually assaulting her over nine months, according to indictments released Wednesday.
Nathaniel Kibby was arrested in July and initially charged with kidnapping the girl Oct. 9, 2013, in the White Mountains town of Conway. Despite a massive search and widespread public outreach, there was no trace of her except for a letter she wrote to her mother in November of that year.
The girl, who turned 15 a week after she disappeared, returned just as mysteriously in July, a week before Kibby was arrested.
Media outlets, including The Associated Press, repeatedly published the girl's name and picture after she disappeared and when she returned home. The girl's family and prosecutors have asked that her name and image no longer be published because they fear the publicity and association with sexual abuse will slow her recovery from what they call a horrific trauma.
Kibby, 34, was indicted in Carroll and Coos counties on charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, criminal threatening, illegal use of a gun and illegal use of an electronic restraint device. In the records released Wednesday, more than 150 of the indictments were heavily blacked-out.
Kibby has been held on $1 million bail since his arrest at his home in Gorham, about 30 miles from the girl's home. He has a criminal history dating to 1998, including convictions on simple assault, criminal trespass and breach of bail conditions, according to court records.
Police said the girl, now 16, was last seen after leaving Kennett High School in Conway. She walked her normal route down a busy road toward home and sent several texts to a friend between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. But when her mother returned from work, the girl was not home. Prosecutors said she had no way to travel or get food, shelter or other necessities on her own. They said she "went dark" and could not be traced through social media for the duration of her absence.
Police did reveal in December 2013 that she had written home to her mother. When the letter surfaced, FBI Special Agent In Charge Kieran Ramsey said there was the possibility the girl had run away, but someone could still be coercing her into staying away from home. The contents of the letter have never been released.
A police officer who has known Kibby for two decades said he's very bright, opinionated and thrives on conflict.
In an interview in July with The Associated Press, former Conway Lt. Chris Perley said Kibby, "was smart, but he was also brutally myopic in whatever view he had. You could not shake him or redirect him in the way he saw the world."
Kibby grew up and attended school in Conway, a tourist-dependent town of about 1,800 people in the southeast corner of the White Mountain National Forest. He worked as a machinist at two gun makers — Green Mountain Rifle Barrel Co. and E.M.M. Precision.