NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (CBS) – Police Chief Ed Wagner and other law enforcement officials urged the public on Sunday to continue providing tips and other information in the search for missing local teenager Abigail Hernandez.
“I really can’t stress how important it is, no matter how small you think the tip may be, to keep the tips coming in,” Wagner said in a press conference early Saturday night. “It is really nice to see the Conway community coming together in this time of need.”
The 14-year-old left Kennett High School around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon and the police believe she made it home. But when her mother arrived at their house, the girl was gone.
Law enforcement officials have been treating the case as a missing person investigation.
FBI agent Kieran Ramsey said the public has provided valuable information since the teen’s disappearance.
“We have been dealing with some 200-plus tips at this point … throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and even as far as Texas, and we continue to pursue every single tip that we have and it is run to ground to ensure that any piece of information we get at this point we are fully vetting,” Ramsey said.
“We would ask that the local community here, considering this is still a very high-traffic-tourist weekend, please ensure you are searching your own property,” the FBI agent said. “There is no effort that is wasted here in making sure that we continue searching for young Abigail.”
Major Kevin Jordan of the N.H. Fish and Game Department said an extensive territory in and around North Conway had been searched in an effort to find the teen.
“As of today, and I still have one team out, we’ve searched in excess of four thousand acres of wilderness,” he said, “that actually equates to greater than five square miles.”
Jordan said officials are using GPS technology paired with computer mapping software to help organize the search effort.
“It gives you kind of a visual tool to look at to see how much of (a particular) property has been covered,” he said. “(On Monday), we’re going to bring in an additional resource of five air-scent dog teams that I’ve used in the past that I’ve had great success with. In my mind, it is still a missing person. I have no information telling me anything different, so it doesn’t change the way I search.”
The officials said they found human bone fragments on Saturday that are not believed to be linked to Abigail’s disappearance. They said the bone fragments could be related to a man who went missing in the area in July 2006.