BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A prosecutor says a child who had been missing from Alabama and turned up 13 years later in Ohio was found in part because of red flags raised when he tried to apply for college.
District Attorney Brandon Falls in Jefferson County, Alabama, tells local news outlets that Julian Hernandez's Social Security number kept coming back incorrect, so he went to a school counselor to help. Falls says the counselor realized Hernandez was listed as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
See photos of Julian:
Boy missing for 13 years found safe, Julian Hernandez
Alabama boy who went missing in 2002 found alive
Julian Hernandez before he went missing in 2002. (Photo via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
Bobby Hernandez in an undated mugshot photo. (Photo via Cuyahoga County Jail)
A Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 photo shows the house where Julian Hernandez lived with his father, Bobby, in Cleveland. Thirteen years after Julian was allegedly snatched from his Alabama home at age 5 by his father, the young man has been found living under an assumed name with his dad in Ohio, in a case authorities say broke open when his Social Security number raised red flags during college applications. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Abducted boy Julian Hernandez who vanished in 2002 is found alive https://t.co/YIMjyKqi8V https://t.co/CX9yb64Yyc
Here's missing child poster for now-safe Julian Hernandez from Vestavia Hills, found safe in Cleveland, dad arrested https://t.co/TscG0O00Bj
"Just totally shocked." - A man who lived next to Julian and Bobby Hernandez. Knew them as different names. @WEWS
In 2002, @abc3340 reports Bobby Hernandez withdrew money, took some of Julian's clothes, toys and disappeared. @WEWS
I can't believe after 13 years they found Julian Hernandez in Cleveland. Crazy, but so awesome.
Authorities say Hernandez was 5 when his mother reported him missing. He's now 18. Falls says it's unlikely he knew he was listed as missing.
Special Agent Vicki Anderson said the FBI in Ohio received information Oct. 30 that a local teenager may be a missing child. Anderson told AL.com that the boy and his father have apparently been living in Cleveland.
Falls says he's seeking charges against Bobby Hernandez, involving interference with custody. That's a class C felony carrying a prison term of 1-10 years.
Authorities say Julian Hernandez is safe and unharmed.