Boy missing since 2002 has been found safe

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — A child reported missing by his mother in August 2002 has been found after the boy, now 18, solved his own missing person’s case.

According to Vestavia Hills Police Chief Dan Rary, FBI agents from Cleveland, Ohio contacted the department about the missing child, Julian Hernandez, on Nov. 1.missing child1

Rary said at the time of his abduction, they suspected the boy was taken as a “non-custodial parental abduction.”

Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls said that Julian and a school counselor looked him up on the missing persons database when his social security number wouldn’t verify.

The child’s father, Bobby Hernandez, was arrested and charged in connection with the abduction, Rary said. Hernandez will also face charges in Jefferson County stemming from the 2002 abduction.

Hernandez is currently charged with tampering with records in Cuyahoga County.

“Members of the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force in Cleveland, with help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Vestavia Hills Police Department, and the Birmingham Division of the FBI were able to locate and positively identify the child as Julian Hernandez,” Rary said in a press release.

Bobby Hernandez (Courtesy Cuyahoga County/WOIO)
Bobby Hernandez (Courtesy Cuyahoga County/WOIO)

According to Rary, the child’s mother and family were notified he was found safe and unharmed.

Lt. Johnny Evans with Vestavia Hills Police Department reports that the boy’s mother is “ecstatic and excited to know her child is alive and well.”

Police do not know if or when there will be a reunion, because Julian is an adult and the decision to meet his mother will be up to him. The mother’s name is not being released at this time.

The investigation is ongoing, Rary said. Hernandez could possibly face further charges in the future.

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