Julian Hernandez: 5-year-old boy who went missing in 2002 found alive and well 13 years later

The boy is found, aged 18, living in Ohio with his father after he appied for college

Julian Hernandez was reported missing by his mother in August 2002
Julian Hernandez was reported missing by his mother in August 2002

A five-year-old boy who went missing in 2002 has been found alive and well 13 years later.

Julian Hernandez, who disappeared in Birmingham, Alabama, was found living more than 700 miles away in Ohio.

Police and FBI agents confirmed that the now-18-year-old was safe and unharmed.

His mother was said to be "ecstatic" at the news, according to AL.com.

Julian’s mother reported the boy missing after his father, Bobby Hernandez, was supposed to take him to preschool but instead withdrew money from his bank account and fled.

An artist's impression of what Julian Hernandez could look like today

Mr Hernandez, now 53, has been arrested on suspicion of one count of tampering with records in Ohio over a falsified driving licence, and is likely to face abduction charges in Alabama, according to local police.

Julian’s identity only came to light when he began applying for colleges.

Teen Solves His Own Missing Person Case Trying to Apply for College

His Social Security number - the equivalent of a National Insurance number in the UK - did not match his name and when a school counsellor tried to help him find out why, they found him on the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children’s database.

Lt Johnny Evans, a local police officer in the Vestavia Hills neighbourhood of Birmingham where Julian went missing, told local news channel WVTM13: "I've been doing this 25 years and it’s something I've never experienced before.

"They (investigators) spent tireless hours doing everything they could to try to find him.

"That's the reason you never give up and you keep looking."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in