The mysterious nine-month disappearance and return of a New Hampshire teen 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 the girl 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 the teen’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 a Facebook page dedicated to her safe return.
“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 [the teen’s] safety and return to her family,” reads the page that previously has carried updates from the girl’s family.
“[She] 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 [her] best interests. As we receive more information from them, we will share it as soon as we can. We thank you for your patience.”
The man in the sketch was described by the girl 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 she disappeared.
In the only other clue made public, authorities earlier posted photos of a striped sweater and black leggings worn by the girl 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.