Julian Hernandez was only 5 years old when he went missing back in 2002. For 13 years, his mother and family did everything they could to try and locate him.
This year would make Julian at 18 years old. He would be graduating high school and applying for colleges: this step changed his life forever.
While Julian was applying for colleges this year, he ran into some trouble. His name did not match with his social security number. He brought this to the attention of a school counselor. That was when he found his name on the list of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
How could this have happened? How could he have lived a life without knowing he was abducted?
According to the Washington Post, Julian had no idea that he was abducted which seems reasonable since he was only 5 when he was taken. An even bigger twist in the story is the identity of who exactly took him; his own father.
Bobby Hernandez kidnapped his son over a custody dispute. The FBI took Bobby into custody where he is being held on interference with child custody, which is also a felony.
This has truly changed Julian’s life but for better or worse is not certain. Julian is reported saying this to the press:
“I ask that you respect my privacy and the privacy of my school, my school’s faculty, my friends, and my neighbors.”
Julian Hernandez in 2002 when he was abducted (left), Bobby Hernandez in custody (right)
“Please, no more spotlights, no more cameras, no more reporters sneaking into my school or showing up at my house and no more microphones in my face. I just want to be left alone.”
For years the NSMEC had on their website an age-progessed picture of Hernandez which looked like this:
Note: The photo above is just an aged-progressed artist depiction. This is not an actual photo of Hernandez
This story was indeed a unique one but hopefully this could open doors to solving more cases of missing children and reunite them with their families.