Her one and only son
Maria Mancia lived in California with her husband Valentin Hernandez and their 18-month-old son Steve. But one day when she got home, something terrifying had happened. When she opened the front door she noticed an unusual silence and knew something wasn’t right. She quickly went through the house searching every room until she finally noticed something missing. Something very, very important.
Her son Steve had disappeared. But not only him. Her husband had left without leaving a note or any indication of where he might have gone. He even took the time to remove all the photos of Steve — even the pictures of the ultrasounds when he was still in the womb! Maria was shattered. She had to face reality: Valentin had kidnapped her one and only child.
You can watch their whole story here in this video:
Maria immediately contacted the police but without any pictures of the baby they didn’t give her much hope in finding him. This was in 1995 and apart from the paper photos stolen by her husband, Maria did not own anything. Eventually the investigators found a photo they could use at a relative’s house. It was a black and white picture in very bad quality but for Maria it was all that was left of her child.
Time went by and the investigation was not making any headway. Days, weeks, months and even years passed… still nothing.
21 years later, Maria was still looking at the same picture of her son every single day. His dark hair, his facial features… For the her it was as if time had stopped the day of his disappearance.
Today he would be 22 years old. Was he happy? Did he have a girlfriend? Was he even still alive?
But one day the San Bernardino Police discovered some evidence that led them to the Mexican city of Puebla. There they found a young man and he was alive and healthy. Maria was once again full of hope, but she tried to stay calm. After all, it might not be her son. A DNA test was conducted and Maria waited anxiously for the results.
And then came the good, no, the incredible news: the young man was Steve!
When Maria found out that he was still alive, she couldn’t hold back the tears. What she had been dreaming of for 21 years had finally come true! When she saw Steve for the first time after their long separation, she felt both nervous and euphoric. Mother and son hugged and their embrace could not have been more beautiful and overwhelming.
What a handsome man he had become! They had been apart for 20 years, but the love was still as strong.
For Steve too, this moment was full of strong emotions. “It was a shock,” he 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,” he said.
On the occasion of this long-awaited reunion, the young man brought a very special gift for his mom: pictures of him. Maria, who had spent more than two decades looking at the only picture she had of her son, did not have any words to describe her happiness.
Maria and her son had so much catching up to do. Steve was currently studying law in Mexico, but he was hoping to continue his studies in the United States. Getting closer to Maria would be a great opportunity for him to make new memories to make up for the ones they were never able to make during their separation.
As for Valentin, the “kidnapper father,” he had once again disappeared without leaving any clue. Some people were even saying that he was dead. But as far as Maria and Steve were concerned, the most important thing was to fully enjoy their new life together.
The story of this mother who found her son more than two decades after his abduction is simply incredible. And it’s a great reminder that amazing things can happen when we refuse to give up hope.