In 1995, Maria Mancia experienced every parent’s worst nightmare.
She returned home from work to her California home only to discover that her 18-month-old baby was gone.
And not until 20 years later when she heard a knock on the door would she know the truth behind what happened.
Maria Mancia’s 18-month-old son Steve disappeared without a trace from her house one night in 1995. The police instantly started looking for him, but they had little to go on.
Almost every trace of Steve life, from documents like his birth certificate to all of Maria’s pictures of him (including a photo of his ultrasound), had vanished from the face of the earth. Luckily, Maria’s sister had one black and white photo of Steve so Maria could remember his face, reports Inside Edition.
Kidnapped by his own father
It soon became clear that Steve was kidnapped by his father, Valentin Hernandez. You might think that this made the search easier, but it didn’t. It was as though the boy and his father had gone up in smoke.
After searching for a long time without any results, the police put Steve’s kidnapping in the cold case pile. Maria reluctantly accepted that she might not ever see her son again. But still, she held out some hope that one day the police would find him.
The police get a tip
Then 21 years later, the police got a tip. A US citizen named Steve had enrolled to study law at a school in Puebla, Mexico. When the police received this information, they decided to contact the young man to learn more about his background.
They asked Steve about his biological father and were told he was gone. They matched the information they received from Steve to the criminal investigation they had started many years ago, and after conducting a DNA test, it was clear: Steve was Maria’s son who had been missing for 21 years.
His father’s lie
It turned out that Steve’s father told him that his mother had abandoned them. But the truth would soon come to the surface.
Twenty-two-year-old Steve Hernandez went back to California to reunite with his mother after 21 years apart.
Watch their emotional reunion here:
Steve Hernandez didn’t just get to meet his mother again, he also got to know his four younger half-siblings, whom he had never met. Now, he plans to study law in the United States and be close to his biological family. Whether his father is alive or not is unknown. He disappeared from Steve’s life sometime before the police found Steve.
This story really moved me. It shows that you should never give up your dreams, no matter how much time has passed. Please share if you agree!