Julian Hernandez was missing for 13 years and he didn't know it. Authorities say the 18-year-old was kidnapped by his father in 2002 and taken from Alabama to Cleveland, where they lived under fake names, KENS 5 reports. Hernandez only discovered the truth this fall when he started applying to colleges and found that there was a problem with his Social Security number, the district attorney says. He says the teen worked with a school counselor to find out what the issue was, and they found that he was in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database, reports WVTM. The FBI was contacted—it's not clear by whom—and Julian's father, Bobby Hernandez, was arrested on Monday.
The father is being held on charges of tampering with records and will face more charges relating to the abduction, reports KENS 5. A police spokesman tells WVTM that investigators "spent tireless hours" looking for Hernandez when his mother reported the 5-year-old missing. He says the mother is "ecstatic" that the boy has finally been found. "That's the reason you never give up and you keep looking," he says. Neighbors on Cleveland's west side, where investigators say Bobby Hernandez lived with a woman and two other children, tell WKYC that the father is a "pretty cool guy" and they had no idea anything was amiss. (A kidnapping suspect was arrested and a girl rescued after the driver behind him heard an Amber Alert over the radio.)