A mother was left without her son after his father took him and ran away, 21 years later she finally found him. “All that time I didn’t know what had happened to him,” Maria Mancia said.
Steve Hernandez, Maria’s son, was only 18 months old when he was abducted by his own father, Valentin Hernandez. Besides taking her son, Valentin also snatched all the photos of Steve from the house, even the ultrasound photo. Maria was left with nothing but memories of her son.
When Maria called the authorities the only picture she had was one that they found at a relatives home, that’s all they had to go by.
“It’s all I had of him,” she said. “It was always with me.”
The San Bernardino Country District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit was determined to find the lost child. For a while they had given up hope. Years later they came across a tip that led them to Puebla, Mexico. Incredibly, 21 years later they found Steve. His father though, was no where to be found and is thought to be dead.
“It was a shock,” Steve said. “I didn’t know if she was alive or not and to get a call that says they found my mother and that she had been looking for me, it was like a cold bucket of water. But it’s good. It’s good.”
Steve studied law while living in Mexico and is hoping to attend law school here in the U.S.
“Now this anguish I’ve carried is gone now that I have my son back,” Maria said. “I spent 21 years looking for him not knowing anything.”
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