Teen found out he was abducted as a child while applying to college
This rollercoaster ride has not been easy on the 18-year-old, especially finding out that his whole life at that point had been a lie
The crime started 13 years ago, said the report by PEOPLE, when Bobby Hernandez, after breaking up with his girlfriend, disappeared along with their son Julian from their Alabama home.
This was in 2002.
Fast forward to early 2015, Julian, who had lived alone with his father in Ohio, was 18-years-old and applying for college. During one of his sessions with a school counselor helping his with his applications, they found something curious.
Julian’s social security number did not match his name. His counsellor did some digging, and he discovered that Julian’s name was in listed as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Police reports said that at the time Bobby and his girlfriend’s relationship was deteriorating, he threatened that if she ever broke up with him, she would never see her son again.
53-year-old Bobby Hernandez was slapped with a plethora of charges: two counts of kidnapping, 10 counts of tampering with records, two counts of interference with custody, and one count of forgery.
Except for forgery, all are felony counts—and for this he faces 54 years in prison.
According to prosecutor Timothy McGinty of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, “Mr. Hernandez selfishly deprived this child of his mother, and the mother her child. They lost any chance to bond, nurture and enjoy the benefits of this vital relationship.”
At Bobby’s arrest, Robert Lowery, Vice President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told PEOPLE that “Julian and his mother are now embarking on a journey.”
He added that “Reunification is sometimes very complicated. He is very confused; he has an established relationship with his father, and there was a stepmother there, too. Now we have to embark on a journey of reclaiming those lost 13 years.”
This rollercoaster ride has not been easy on the 18-year-old, especially finding out that his whole life at that point had been a lie.
In a statement after his father’s arrest, he said that he just wanted to be normal.
“I want to go through my day like I did before this week, just being a normal 18-year-old,” he said.
“I have goals that I am striving to meet, so please respect my request for privacy. I just want to be left alone.”
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