NORTH CONWAY, N.H., Oct. 13, 2013 -- Four days after Abigail Hernandez vanished after school in picturesque Conway, her mother wished her missing daughter a happy 15th birthday through tears as she pleaded for information about the teen's disappearance.
"Happy Birthday Abi,'' Zenya Hernandez said in front of the Conway police headquarters where the intensive search for her daughter is being orchestrated.
Hernandez's voice shook as she looked at a bank of reporters' cameras and delivered a message directly to her daughter: "Please come home. We miss you so badly."
Abigail Hernandez was last seen Wednesday around 2:30 p.m. walking home from Kennett High School in North Conway, where the raven-haired teen ran for the track team and was described as quiet and bright. Investigators believe that she made it to her mother's rented condo on Village Way, but when Zenya Hernandez came home from her nursing job, her daughter was gone.
The FBI is now leading the search for the teen -- last seen wearing black yoga pants and a gray sweatshirt -- which has been conducted by air, over rough wooded terrain, and in the nearby Sacco River.
On Saturday dozens of searchers "line-searched" the woods around Cranmore Mountain ski resort, which involved shoulder-to-shoulder police officers navigating four square miles of mountainous terrain, said Major Kevin Jordan of the Maine Fish and Game department.
Jordan said police hovered overhead with a Massachusetts State Police helicopter and a borrowed FBI fixed-wing aircraft as part of the search and have combed more than 1,000 acres of wilderness on foot. There has been no sign of Hernandez, but searchers did recover human remains belonging to another person reported missing "years ago," Jordan told reporters.
"We are nowhere near done," Jordan said. "We are here to find Abi and to bring her home."
Columbus Day weekend is peak tourist season for New Hampshire's White Mountains. Leaf-peepers crowd the hotels near Hernandez's homes to take in the majestic views of the spectacular fall foliage.
However, this weekend tourists were handed missing personals flyers of the pretty girl who turned 15 today at traffic rotaries. Hernandez's picture was also affixed to store windows all over North Conway Village and in the popular outlet mall.
Police officials said they are treating Hernandez's disappearance as a missing persons case, but added that foul play has not been ruled out.
Anyone with information relating to Hernandez's whereabouts is urged to call Conway PD at 603-356-5715.