03:12 - Source: CNN
Teen discovers he's been a missing person for 13 years

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Julian Hernandez was 5 when he and his father vanished from Alabama in 2002

Julian was listed as missing; his father, Bobby Hernandez, has been arrested

Julian is now 18

CNN —  

Reported missing in Alabama 13 years ago, Hernandez was found safe and unharmed this week in Cleveland, Ohio, authorities say.

He was in the legal custody of his mother when he disappeared on August 28, 2002. He was 5 then.

It was suspected that his father, Bobby Hernandez, took him as part of a noncustodial parental abduction, according to the Vestavia Hills Police Department, just south of Birmingham.

After 18 years, a missing son emerges in Mexico, reunites with Indiana father

Bobby Hernandez (Photo: Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office)
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
Bobby Hernandez (Photo: Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office)

A lead in the case came Sunday, when Vestavia Hills Police were contacted by the FBI in Cleveland about a missing child.

The case broke when Julian was trying to apply for college, Brandon Falls, the district attorney for Jefferson County, told CNN affiliate WVTM. He ran into problems when his Social Security number didn’t match his name.

A school counselor worked with him to determine why. It was then they found that he was on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database.

The missing child they were able to locate and positively identify is now 18. Julian’s mother and family were notified of his recovery.

Mother, daughter reunited after father spirited child to Mexico, authorities say

Bobby Hernandez was arrested Monday in the abduction. The court records from Cuyahoga County in Ohio did not specify exact charges against him but Lt. Johnny Evans of the Vestavia Hills Police Department said they would include interference with child custody.

Bobby Hernandez made his first appearance in the Cuyahoga County Court on Wednesday, and his bond was set at $250,000. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 12.

In addition to the charges in Ohio, Bobby Hernandez will face charges in Jefferson County, Alabama, in the 2002 abduction. He may face additional charges.

The Vestavia Hills Police Department worked in collaboration with the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force in Cleveland, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Birmingham Division of the FBI.