Maria Mancia lost her son 21 years ago… but she never gave up hope for his safe return. Her son, Steve Hernandez was only 18-months-old when he was kidnapped by his own father, Valentin. Before Valentin left the California home with his infant son, the malicious man removed every photo and document of his son from their house so that Maria would have no way of identifying him to police.
Maria frantically called relatives to find a picture of her son to help authorities track him down. After making a copy of the only photo she found, Maria kept that photo with her every day for 21 years.
The San Bernardino County District Child Abduction Unit searched for Steve for more than two decades before finally tracking him down. A tip led them to the small town of Puebla, Mexico where they found Steve alive and well.
Their reunion brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
“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.”
“Now this anguish I’ve carried is gone now that I have my son back,” Mancia said. “I spent 21 years looking for him not knowing anything.”