It sounds like it came straight out of a movie – this story features a boy who didn’t even know he was missing! It was not until 13 years after being reported missing that the boy would finally find out the truth about his life. The way he finds out is truly bizarre!
In August 2002, the Vestavia Hills Police department received a call from a distraught woman reporting her son, 5-year-old Julian Hernandez, as missing from his home in Vestavia Hills, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama.
19. The Boy
On the day of his abduction, back in August 2002, Julian was being babysat while his mother was away from their home in Vestavia Hills. But he wasn’t abducted from a park or playground or some other public space as one may think…
18. Where It All Happened
He was taken from the comfort of his own home, from the house where his mother still lives to this day! The strangest part was that no one saw anything suspicious, but the bizarre part is still yet to come…
17. What About The Parents?
Before Julian went missing, his mother and father had been arguing quite frequently about separating and most times it was in front of their son. So, did he run away from home?
16. Custody Hearing
Days before the tragic event, his parents had a major dispute about custody. Although the boy was too young to understand what was happening, no one suspected that it would have such an impact on the baby’s life!
15. Where Was He?
Julian, on the other hand, was too young to understand what was happening at the time of his abduction. He was just a normal 5-year-old who was living in what it looked like a normal family. Police started looking for the missing child, but unfortunately what they discovered broke hearts all over the nation…
14. Who Took Him?
After months of searching, the police still had no idea of what happened to the boy, who took him or if he was still alive. So, what happened to Julian that summer day in Vestavia Hills? The answer came up to light… 13 years later!
Meanwhile, in Ohio, there was a boy who looked very similar to Julian Hernandez and he was living a seemingly normal life. However, when it came time to apply to college he had some difficulties. You won’t believe how a simple piece of paper turned Julian’s life upside down, not to mention the secret that was about to be revealed…
12. College Application
When it was time to apply for college there seemed to be something wrong with his application. You see, social security numbers are required for all college applications and something was not quite right with this boy’s number…
11. Social Security Number
Everyone was confused by his social security number. As it turns out, this boy’s number had been matched to a missing person’s report from August 2002 in Alabama!
Police from the Vestavia Hills department were notified immediately and began a prompt investigation to determine the truth about the boy from Ohio.
Julian Hernandez was finally found! The boy in Ohio had been identified as Julian Hernandez. After 13 long years, Julian’s mother would finally get to hold her son again!
8. Police Report
As soon as the investigation was concluded, the local Vestavia police immediately issued a public statement on the situation. The report had concluded that Julian was indeed abducted by his father, Bobby Hernandez. This news took the nation by storm and soon everyone was tuning in.
7. Story Went Viral
The very moment the situation was revealed by the police the story went viral all over the world. Who could believe that a missing boy was kept hidden away by his own father for 13 years?!
6. Family Reunited
After so many years Julian’s mother had given up hope that her son would be returned to her. She had thought the worst, that her son was gone forever. But when she received the news from the police, Julian’s mother expressed that she was “ecstatic” about her son’s return and thanked everyone for their prayers and support.
5. The Father
It was Bobby Hernandez, Julian’s own father, who had kidnapped Julian that day from his mother’s home. It was after a dispute they had about custody over Julian. The couple had gone through a bad separation, however, Bobby still came to visit and babysit Julian frequently. But losing custody over Julian was too much for Bobby to handle. So, he took him.
4. The Arrest
Bobby Hernandez was quickly arrested and is still facing prison time for the abduction of his son and for identity theft.
Bobby was being held on a $250,000 bond in Ohio after using a dead man’s identity to hide his son and himself from the investigation. But what did Julian have to say about all of this?
Julian stated that he was clueless about the situation because his father provided him with a pretty normal life. Julian actually forgave his father for everything he had done, even for taking him away from his own mother.
2. Good Grades
According to Julian, the only reason he even found out about the truth was because of his father. His father pushed him very hard through school. He believed in good grades and wanted the best for his son. Julian said, his dad was the reason he was able to achieve the grades necessary to attend college.
What will happen now? Will Julian leave Ohio and return to his mother?
1. It’s Up to Him to Decide
Now, the question everyone is asking is “what will Julian decide?”
Technically, at 18 years of age Julian is of the legal age to determine what he will do. He will have to decide for himself if he will return to his childhood home with his mother in Alabama. Time will tell what this young man decides.