Families all across the globe have been left in limbo following the disappearance of their children, with many never being found.


So it's no surprise that many people were both shocked and delighted when a boy who had been missing for 13 years was found safe and well.


Julian Hernandez, from Alabama, was just five-years-old when he was reported missing by his mother in 2002. It wasn’t until he began applying for college places that suspicion arose, as his name, which had been changed, didn’t match his social security number.



For the first time since the news broke, the 18-year-old has spoken out about his disappearance, via a statement issued by the FBI in Cleveland, Ohio.


Asking for privacy, the teenager said: "At this point I just simply want to be normal! At this point I just simply want to be normal!" 


"I have goals that I am striving to meet, so please, again, respect my request for privacy," he added.


His father, Robert Hernandez, who took the youngster back in 2002, is now facing abduction charges and is said to be feeling remorseful.


"He’s been a good father. Everybody that knows him loves him. His neighbours and his friends all speak very highly of him," Hernandez’s lawyer, Ralph DeFranco said.