18-Year-Old Boy Applying to College Learns He Was Kidnapped 13 Years Earlier

Those 13 years since her son, Julian Hernandez, was kidnapped must have been excruciating for his mother. But now he's been found safe and all grown up in Ohio -- all because he applied to go to college.


He was just 5 years old in 2002 and living in Alabama when his father, Bobby Hernandez, took Julian from his mother. There was some custody battle gone bad. And more than a decade passed and no one had any idea what had happened to Julian until he started filling out college applications. Julian's social security number didn't add up. It didn't take long to unravel the rest of the story. 

And although this is a happy ending -- Julian was, after all, found alive and well -- it's hard not to focus on those 13 unimaginable, long years that left Julian's biological mother to anguish over where her son could possibly be. For a mother, it had to be a torture worse than death.

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Julian's mother never got to see her son learn how to ride a bike, or lose his first tooth or tie his shoes or fall in love for the first time. Robbing a mother of her baby's childhood is unthinkable, and I hope Julian's father Bobby gets the punishment he deserves.

For now, Bobby is headed back to Alabama to face charges related to a fake driver's license. Let's hope Alabama gives Julian and his mother the justice they deserve after 13 long years apart and that they're never separated again. Well, except maybe for a few semesters away at college.


Image via WPEC CBS 12/Twitter

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