Boy Found In Ohio 13 YEARS After Going Missing In Alabama

Far too often, child abduction cases do not have the happy ending that the public hopes for. The longer a child is missing, the more likely it is that he or she will never come home, which is why it came as such a surprise a few years ago when a teenager was found safe 13 years after he went missing.

Julian Hernandez was just five years-old when he went missing in Jefferson County, Alabama, and it took 13 years for his family to get him back.

At the time of his disappearance, Julian had been in the legal custody of his mother. Police had long suspected that Bobby Hernandez, Julian’s biological father, had taken the boy. The officers ended up being completely right in this suspicion.

When Julian was finally found with his father 13 years-later, he was living under a different name and had no idea he had been kidnapped by his father, since he was too young when he was taken to know what was happening. As a result, Julian has had a hard time processing all of this.

“Reunification is sometimes very complicated,” said Robert Lowery of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). “He is very confused; he has an established relationship with his father, and there was a stepmother there too. Now he has to embark on a journey of reclaiming those lost 13 years.”

Julian was finally found when he tried to apply for college. It seems that his father never thought quite that far ahead when he kidnapped the boy, because Julian’s guidance counselor quickly noticed that his name did not match his Social Security number. When the counselor searched his Social Security number online, she found that he was actually a missing child and called the police.

Bobby was arrested and charged with tampering with records in Ohio as well as abduction charges in Alabama.

Julian has spoken out to say that moving forward, he just wants to live a normal life.

“At this point, I just simply want to be normal,” Julian said. “I want to go through my day like I did before this week, just being a normal 18-year-old. I have goals that I am striving to meet.”

“Julian was gone for 13 years, so hopefully his story can serve as a beacon of hope for other families of missing children,” said Lowery. “Children do come home after long periods of time, and this case serves as a very good reminder of that.”

In a world that seems to be increasingly dominated by negativity, it’s nice that this story had a happy ending! Please say a prayer for Julian and the family that got him back after 13 long years!

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