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Returned Teen Abigail Hernandez Describes Man Who Drove Her Away

Abigail Hernandez Update: Police Release Sketch of Man Who Drove N.H. Teen Away
A missing poster of Abigail Hernandez
Jim Cole/AP

07/25/2014 AT 03:30 PM EDT

The mysterious nine-month disappearance and return of New Hampshire teen Abigail Hernandez has yielded another cryptic clue for which authorities are seeking the public's help.

A police sketch shared Thursday shows a man who authorities say drove Hernandez away from Conway, New Hampshire, in a blue pickup on Oct. 9, launching a search that ended when the now 15-year-old was reunited with her family on Sunday.

"The individual or individuals who were involved with her disappearance and absence will now have to face the consequences of any unlawful actions," New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster said in a statement that accompanied the sketch.

Left unsaid, however, was anything about the circumstances surrounding the teen's departure, such as whether she was abducted or may initially have left willingly when she vanished while walking home from Kennett High School in North Conway.

Indeed, her as-yet unexplained return has spawned a rising chorus seeking answers that prompted friends of Abigail's family to issue their own statement urging patience.

"While we appreciate the desire for answers, this is still very much an ongoing law enforcement investigation and no details can be released that could jeopardize the integrity of their work," family friends Amanda Smith and Paul Kirsch wrote Thursday on the Facebook page BringAbbyHome.

"During the last nine months we have fully supported and taken direction from Law Enforcement on ways to proceed that were in the best interest of Abby's safety and return to her family," reads the page that previously has carried updates from the Hernandez family.

"Abby being reunited with her family on Sunday is a testament to us that this process has worked and [we] continue to believe they are acting in Abby's best interests. As we receive more information from them, we will share it as soon as we can. We thank you for your patience."

Returned Teen Abigail Hernandez Describes Man Who Drove Her Away| Crime & Courts, True Crime

Sketch of the suspect

Courtesy of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office

The man in the sketch was described by Abigail as slightly overweight, a bit taller than her 5 feet, 4 inches, with a large build, darkish skin, dark brown eyes and black stubble facial hair. Authorities said he was driving a navy blue pickup on North-South Road in Conway between 2:20 and 2:30 p.m. on the date Abigail disappeared.

In the only other clue made public, authorities earlier posted photos of a striped sweater and black leggings worn by Abigail between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Sunday – the same clothes she also appeared to be wearing when she disappeared, they said.

Persons with information are asked to call New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636 or the local Conway Police at 603-356-5715.

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