If you watch her story in Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez on Lifetime tonight, Sunday, Feb. 26, you might wonder where Abby Hernandez is now. As it turns out, the subject of the new TV movie is also one of its executive producers.
In a new interview with KGET, Abby said it was hard to relive the trauma of being abducted as a teen, but she wanted to share her story through the movie so that viewers are aware of the dangers of the real world.
“I don’t feel as scared anymore,” she explained. “Obviously, it’s a weird experience to have this happen in the first place. And then to have it made into a movie is obviously like an even weirder experience. But ultimately, I did find it healing in a weird way just to have it out there.”
Abby was abducted in October 2013 and held captive for nine months.
Abby disappeared while walking home from school in North Conway, N.H., on Oct. 9, 2013, according to ABC News. Then just 14 years old, Abby had just started freshman year. And her disappearance sparked one of the largest searches in New Hampshire history.
As it turns out, a man named Nathaniel Kibby had abducted Abby. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘OK, I got to work with this guy.’ I said [to him], ‘I don’t judge you for this. If you let me go, I won’t tell anybody about this,’” Abby told 20/20 in 2018. “I told him, ‘Look, you don’t seem like a bad person. Like, everybody makes mistakes. … If you let me go, I won’t tell anybody about this.’”
Kibby took Abby 30 miles north of Conway, where he kept her in a storage container and subjected her to sexual assault and torture, according to ABC News.
In July 2014, however, Kibby released Abby as a counterfeiting investigation closed in on him. He dropped Abby off close to where he had abducted her, and she walked the last mile to her mother’s house. And after Abby told police Kibby’s name and location, they took Kibby into custody, and he later pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault. He was sentenced to 45 to 90 years in prison.
Someone’s disapperance “affects a lot of people and it will forever,” she said.
In her 20/20 special, Abby reflected on her new lease on life. “Every time I go outside now, I really try to appreciate sunlight and fresh air,” she said. “It really went in my lungs differently. … I really try to never take that for granted.”
And in her interview with KGET, she said, “Not everybody, but a lot of people have that voice in the back of their head. ‘If I disappeared it wouldn’t matter.’ And I learned that yeah, it does matter,” Hernandez says. “It affects a lot of people and it will forever.”
Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez premieres tonight, Sunday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. EST.
If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.