Found teen missing from Alabama since age 5 wants privacy

Teen discovers he's been a missing person for 13 years
Teen discovers he's been a missing person for 13 years

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    Teen discovers he's been a missing person for 13 years

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

Story highlights

  • Julian Hernandez was 5 when he and his father vanished from Alabama in 2002
  • Julian: "At this point I just simply want to be normal"
  • Julian was listed as missing; his father, Bobby Hernandez, has been arrested
  • Julian is now 18

(CNN)Julian Hernandez wants to live a normal life. He wants to be left alone.

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.
    In a statement Friday, Julian Hernandez asked the media to respect his privacy.
    "At this point I just simply want to be normal!" the statement said. "I want to go through my day like I did before this week, just being a normal 18 year old."
    Hernandez wrote, "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."
    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.
    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.