The missing case of a boy who was kidnapped by his father was closed as he enrolled to college.
When he was just five years old, Julian Hernandez disappeared from his mother’s apartment in 2002. Their first suspect was the boy’s father Bobby Hernandez. Because he was not on good terms with the boy’s mother, they thought he was the one who did it. But the police could not find the father either. And the case went cold for more than a decade. But in 2015, the police finally located the long-lost Julian Hernandez in the most amazing way…
Back in 2002, Julian was just sitting at home like any normal day. He was waiting to be taken to school and was just hanging out in the living room. And like any other day, his father and mother were fighting in the kitchen. Julian had learned to block out these fights from his mind.
Although Bobby and Julian’s mother lived in separate homes, Bobby had agreed to help take the boy to preschool. On that day, he was there to take the boy to class. His mother had no reason to suspect the father of any wrongdoing.
But on the way to school, Bobby drained his bank accounts and then took Julian on the run with him.
His mother reported the boy missing on August 28, 2002. It was assumed that Bobby had taken him. The custody battle had been intense and the father had left a note. In the note, Bobby wrote that he had taken the boy and was leaving the state.
Later it came out that Bobby had threatened Julian’s mother. He always said he’d take the boy away if they ever broke up. When they did, Bobby followed through with his threat.
After hours of driving, Bobby took Julian to Cleveland, Ohio. He then established new identities for him and his son. He took the name Jonathan Mangina and called Julian J.J. Bobby started acting like life was normal and took a factory job.
Meanwhile, Julian’s mother was back in Alabama and heartbroken.
“During my darkest moments I considered suicide,” she later said in a statement. But she never refused to give up hope of seeing her son again. Then in 2015, the police made a breakthrough.
When Julian, under his fake name, tried to apply to college, the government discovered him. Because his social security number did not match his fake name, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children took notice.
As soon as it became clear who Julian was, the police arrested his father Bobby. He was taken away in handcuffs on November 2, 2015 while working in the factory.
What is strange is that while living with Bobby, Julian admits that he was a wonderful father. Julian was a straight A student and a gifted athlete. Bobby had done right by his son.
Because Bobby was not fettered with the boy’s mother’s nagging, he was free to become a great man and father. But that didn’t erase the crimes he had committed to get that life.
All these years, Julian simply thought his mother had left home. He did not know he had been kidnapped.