A teenager who was found 13 years after going missing has spoken out about his life saying he now just wants to be "normal." Julian Tiberius Hernandez was five-years-old and living in Alabama when his mother reported him missing in August 2002. He was found safe and unharmed in Cleveland, Ohio over a decade later.
His father, 53-year-old Bobby Hernandez, was arrested on charges of abduction.
In a statement provided by the FBI in Cleveland, Julian said: "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. I just want to be left alone," he added. Bobby Hernandez's lawyer, Ralph DeFranco told ABC News today his client regrest his actions. "He's been a good father," said DeFranco. "Everybody that knows him loves him. His neighbors and his friends all speak very highly of him."
DeFranco added that Julian is doing "spectacularly". "He's bright, healthy, active in sports. And he's an honor student in school. He's a straight-A student," he said.
According to the Charley Project, a missing persons database, Bobby Hernandez was supposed to drop Julian off at nursery on the day the boy went missing, but failed to do so. The pair disappeared and investigators suspected the father and son were using false identities, but were never able to locate them.
The father's subterfuge fell apart when Julian was trying to apply for college, and his Social Security number didn't match his name. School officials found that he was registered as missing on the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children database.
His mother is said to be "ecstatic" that her son has finally been found, reports AL.com.