Nearly two decades ago, a five-year-old boy named Julian Hernandez went missing.

Upon returning home, Julian’s mother found a note from Julian’s father stating that he’d taken their son and wouldn’t be returning.

Justifiably upset, Julian’s mother contacted the police right away to report her son missing.

What she didn’t know was that Julian’s father had already hatched an elaborate plan to conceal their identities and never be found.

Over the years, Julian’s mother received hundreds of leads, but her searches were ultimately in vain. As time wore on, her hope petered out.

When Julian turned 18, the unthinkable happened.

While filling out college applications, Julian noticed an anomaly in his personal information. His social security number didn’t match his name.

Assuming that it was a mistake on his end, Julian enlisted help from a school counselor. However, the counselor ran into the same issue.

Upon further investigation, she found Julian’s missing person report via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

When she relayed this news to Julian, he was seriously disturbed. Julian soon learned the truth behind his cryptic past and that his father contrived the whole situation.

Julian and his mother soon reunited, and she was elated to have her son back in her arms.

Julian’s father was taken to court, but Julian had mercy on him. He pleaded with the judge to keep his father out of prison.

According to Julian, he didn’t want to experience the same heartache he’d endured as a child growing up without a parent.