- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The latest on the case of a missing child in Alabama who was found 13 years later in Ohio (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Relatives of an Alabama youth who was missing for 13 years say they are “overjoyed” to know he is safe.

A representative of Julian Hernandez’s family released a statement Thursday about the discovery of the 18-year-old in Ohio, where he was living with his father.

The statement was released on behalf of the young man’s mother, whose name hasn’t been released. It expresses thanks for prayers and support during the youth’s absence from home.

The family also asks for privacy and says relatives need to focus on Julian’s well-being “during this difficult time in his life.”

Authorities say the youth’s father left metro Birmingham with him in 2002 when Julian was 5 and hasn’t been heard from since.

They say he was living under an assumed name, and his true identity was discovered during the college application process.

___

11:30 a.m.

Police say the Alabama woman who reported her 5-year-old son missing 13 years ago has been in touch with the young man since he was recently found in Ohio.

Lt. Johnny Evans of the Vestavia Hills Police Department, near Birmingham, said he informed the mother Monday afternoon that he’d been found. He says she was thrilled but apprehensive as first because she’s dealt with many false alarms.

Evans said Thursday that there has been contact, but he’s not sure whether it was by email, phone other methods.

Evans says he doesn’t know much about what Julian Hernandez has been doing but that he’s been told he’s “a very good student” and by all accounts a well-adjusted young man.

Evans says, “It seems to be he was taken care of.” Police say he’s been living in Ohio with his father, who will likely face charges.

A person identified by police as a spokesman for the mother didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Police say she’s requested privacy. Her name hasn’t been released.

___

9 a.m.

Police in Alabama say they received hundreds of leads from across the country and beyond in the case of a child who was reported missing by his mother in 2002, but they all turned out to be dead ends until now.

Lt. Johnny Evans of the Vestavia Hills Police Department, near Birmingham, said Thursday that when Julian Hernandez was reported missing as a 5-year-old, his mother and father were not married. Evans says his father, Bobby Hernandez, had come over to watch the child and left a note saying he had taken him. Evans says that was last time Julian Hernandez’s mother saw him.

But Evans says police couldn’t locate the father or find an address for him.

Julian Hernandez is now 18. Authorities say he’s been found unharmed, living with his father in Ohio, under assumed names, after a tip came in Oct. 30. They say the father will likely face charges.

___

8:45 a.m.

Police in Alabama say the mother of a child she reported missing 13 years ago was ecstatic to learn that he had been found unharmed, living as a young man in Ohio.

Authorities say Julian Hernandez’s was 5 when his mother reported him missing, and he’s now 18. They say he had apparently been living in Ohio under an assumed name with his father. Police say he’ll likely face charges in Alabama.

On Thursday, Lt. Kevin York said the Vestavia Hills Police Department in Alabama had been in contact with Julian Hernandez’s mother. He says she was happy “but also somewhat hesitant because there had been so many false leads through the years.”

York says the woman still lives in the Birmingham area but has asked police not to release her name or address and requests privacy.

At a news conference Thursday, Vestavia Hills police Lt. Johnny Evans said that at age 18 Hernandez is an adult, “so it’s kind of up to him now as to whether he wants to come back.”

___

7:55 a.m.

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.

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.

FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson tells AL.com (https://bit.ly/1Pcjqgp ) he was apparently living in Cleveland with his father, 53-year-old Bobby Hernandez.

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.

___

7 a.m.

Police say that 13 years after a 5-year-old went missing from his home in Alabama, they’ve found him unharmed - now an 18-year-old living in Ohio.

Authorities told news outlets that Julian Hernandez was found in Cleveland. His mother reported him missing from the Birmingham area in 2002.

His father, 53-year-old Bobby Hernandez, was arrested in Ohio. AL.com (https://bit.ly/1Pcjqgp) reports that he’s charged with tampering with records in Ohio to get a driver’s license and that police say he’ll face abduction charges in Alabama.

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.

Authorities say Julian Hernandez is safe and unharmed.


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