A 5-year-old boy reported missing in Alabama 13 years ago was found unharmed in Ohio this week after the now 18-year-old began applying for college and officials discovered his name in a national database for missing children, police said.
Federal investigators located Julian Hernandez after he used an incorrect Social Security number for his college applications, said Lt. Kevin York of the Vestavia Hills, Alabama, police department.
“He was applying to several different colleges and the Social Security number didn’t add up,” York said on Thursday. “His counselor found that out and the school notified authorities, and it went from there.”
The teen’s father, Bobby Hernandez, was arrested on Monday in Cleveland, said FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson.
Prosecutors in Ohio charged him with tampering with records by allegedly using false information to obtain an Ohio state identity card, according to court documents.
Bobby Hernandez did not have custody of his son when the boy’s mother reported him missing in 2002, York said.
The father and son were living under false names in Ohio, the officer added.
The elder Hernandez, who remains jailed in Cleveland on $250,000 bail, could face additional charges in Alabama, York said.