SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A mother never forgot about her son who was taken from her home more than a two decades ago. Thursday, she got to hug him for the first time in 21 years.
Maria Mancia came home one day in 1995 to find her 18-month-old son, Steve Hernandez, gone along with all the pictures of him. Steve’s father had taken the boy to Mexico along with all the identifying paperwork.
The case went cold.
In 2012 the case went to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit. They got a tip in February, and eventually found Hernandez was living in Puebla, Mexico. DNA analysis confirmed they had found Mancia’s long-lost son.
“Now this anguish I’ve carried is gone now that I have my son back,” Mancia told KABC. “I spent 21 years looking for him not knowing anything.”
Hernandez is now back in the U.S., spending time with his mother.
“I lived all these years without my mother, then to find out she’s alive in another country, it was emotional,” said Hernandez.