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Teen Applying To College Learns That He’s A ‘Missing Person’


We can’t choose our family, we aren’t always happy with them, but overall, we love our family. Most people have wonderful memories of growing up. We remember family vacations, learning to ride a bike and family holiday celebrations. What would you do if one day you found out that your entire childhood is a lie, and your family isn’t what you thought it was? This is what happened to a student named J.J. Mangina. When he was 18-years-old and applying to college, he got the shock of his life.

J.J. Mangina

J.J. Mangina had a pretty normal childhood in Cleveland, Ohio. His single father raised him, and he had a lot of fun growing up. He was born in Alabama, to his father, Jonathan and his girlfriend. They never married, but they were both dedicated to raising their son.


According to J.J.’s father, his girlfriend left the family when her son was just five-years-old. This left Jonathan to raise his son alone. He wanted a fresh start, so they moved to Cleveland, Ohio. J.J. was a really good kid, and he got straight A’s at Cleveland High School. He was also very athletic and excelled in sports. He was also very popular. All of the kids loved J.J., and his father described him as a model child.

Applying For College

When it came time to apply for college, J.J. knew that he could probably get into any school of his choice. Between his excellent grades, his extra-curricular activities, and his glowing letters of recommendation, he was a shoo-in. When it came time to apply for college, J.J. did what most other high school students did. He went to meet with the school counselor. It was the counselor’s job to make sure that all of the paperwork was in order and to provide information when necessary. When the counselor was reviewing the paperwork, something wasn’t right. There was a section on his father’s tax information that revealed a secret, and J.J.’s father had some explaining to do.

The Social Security Number

The school counselor noticed that something was off with J.J.’s social security number. After doing some checking, the counselor discovered that the social security number belonged to a boy named Julian Hernandez. Julian Hernandez was listed as missing, and so was the boy’s father, Bobby Hernandez. Things weren’t adding up, and the school counselor needed some answers.

Confronting Jonathan Mangina

When Jonathan was confronted, he admitted that his real name was Bobby Hernandez. His story that J.J.’s mother was a deadbeat mom turned out to be a complete lie. His mother wasn’t a deadbeat or a runaway. Bobby was the runaway.

What Happened?

In the summer of 2002, J.J.’s mother asked Bobby to babysit their little boy. Both parents lived in the same Vestavia Hills apartment complex, which made it convenient for them to share custody. J.J.’s mother often asked Bobby to babysit without incident. This all changed on that summer day in 2002. When she dropped J.J. off, she had no idea what Bobby was planning. He packed up everything that he owned, emptied his bank account, and took off. He left behind a note, and on August 28, 2002, the boy’s mother went to the police to report her son missing. His mother had no idea where her ex had taken their son, and she had no idea that the two were living a 10-hour drive away from her.

A Manhunt

Bobby created new names for himself and his son, while a massive search was going on 10 hours away for the two. Posters were hung all over the city, but nobody had seen the father or son. J.J., aka Julian, was living a new life, and he believed the stories that his father was telling him about his mother. Julian’s mother was devastated.

For years, Julian’s mother didn’t give up the search for her son. The police were sure that he was taken by his father since both disappeared at the same time. The police received many tips, but they all led nowhere. Finally, in 2015, while Julian was applying for college, she finally got a break.

An Arrest

On November 2, 2015, Bobby was arrested on charges of kidnapping, interference with custody, and tampering with records. This charged stemmed from Bobby making a false birth certificate for his son. Julian was in shock. He couldn’t believe that his mother had been searching for him all these years.


Julian’s mother believes that her ex took their son because he was angry that she ended the relationship. Stealing their son was his form of revenge. Julian’s maternal grandmother believes that he should be sentenced for as long as her family had to suffer, wondering where Julian was. The judge sentenced him to four years in prison.

Julian’s Feelings

Julian is trying to reconnect with his mother, and he says that he doesn’t love his father any less. He says that his father has always been the perfect father, and that hasn’t changed. Fortunately, there was a happy ending for all. This teen applying to college learns that he’s a ‘missing person’, but hasn’t let it change him.

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