Teenager Discovers he was Kidnapped as a Child when Applying for College 13 Years Later
Julian Hernandez disappeared when he was just five years old. His mother had reported him missing in August 2002 from Alabama, where it was suspected that his father, Bobby Hernandez, took him as part of a noncustodial parental abduction.
12 years passed, and Julian continued living — reportedly happy, healthy and normal — with his biological father in Ohio, who changed his name and assumed a false identity.
Hundreds of tips flooded in over the years, and Julian’s mother never gave up hope she would one day be reunited with her son. However, all of the leads proved false.
When Julian Hernandez, now 18, was trying to apply for college when he found that his Social Security number did not match his name, Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls told WVTM.
The counselor discovered Julian was listed as a missing person by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He learned he was abducted as a child — by his own father.
Authorities said Julian’s mother was beyond overjoyed to hear her boy was alive and well.
In a touching twist, he asked the judge to keep his father out of prison, and said he forgave him. He said growing up without a mother was painful, “but taking him away from me is doing the same thing all over again.”