Missing Alabama teen found safe in Cleveland releases statement asking for privacy

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Missing Teen Found Safe After 13 Years Asks for Privacy

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — The teen who was found safe in Cleveland after he was reported missing 13 years ago has released a statement asking for privacy.

Julian Hernandez, 18, was only 5 when he was allegedly taken by his father, Bobby Hernandez, from Birmingham, Ala. Bobby was supposed to be taking Julian to preschool that day, but he was never dropped off. Julian was reported missing by his mother.

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He was found in Tremont on Nov. 1.

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Boy missing for 13 years found safe, Julian Hernandez
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Missing Alabama teen found safe in Cleveland releases statement asking for privacy
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.

In a statement released to the media Friday, Julian said he is trying to live a normal life and meet his life goals, and he also asked for privacy.

"I would like to take this opportunity to make a request to the media. I ask that you respect my privacy and the privacy of my school, my school's faculty, my friends and my neighbors. At this point I just simply want to be normal! I want to go through my day like I did before this week, just being a normal 18-year-old. I have goals that I am striving to meet, so please, again, respect my request for privacy. 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. Thank you for respecting my wishes. — Julian Hernandez.

When Julian went missing, authorities suspected he was taken by Bobby as a non-custodial parent abduction.

SEE MORE: Alabama boy who went missing in 2002 found alive

Authorities say that Julian was found when he was trying to apply for college. He was having problems with his social security number so he went to a guidance counselor for help.

Bobby has been charged in Cuyahoga County in connection with the abduction.

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