Desperate Mom Had Only this Photo of Missing Son on Phone. 21 Years Later, Cops Call
Maria Mancia went to work one day, and when she returned home, her 1-year-old son Steven was kidnapped from her California home. Not only was her son taken, but so was every memory of him. All of his documents, all of his photos, even the images of Mancia’s ultrasound were taken by his kidnapper. Mancia had to reach out to Steven’s aunt and ask for a copy of a photo she had sent her. That tattered, grainy image would be the only piece of Steven she had left for decades. Perhaps the most disturbing part of it all is that the perpetrator is Steven’s biological father.
Investigators with the Child Abduction Unit did not give up, nor did Mancia. When Steven, an American citizen by birth, enrolled in law school in a Puebla, Mexico, university, investigators were tipped off. Senior investigator Karen Cragg carefully approached Steven. They asked him questions about his biological father, who had disappeared. They matched the details about Steven’s life from the profile they had built decades before. After a DNA test, Steven was a match. He was the baby boy they and Mancia had been searching over two decades for.
Steven had no idea what had happened to him. He didn’t know he had a mother who had been alive all along. He didn’t know he had four siblings waiting for him. It was all tears and disbelief at the mother and son’s emotional reunion.