Missing Alabama Teen Found Safe in Cleveland Releases Statement Asking for Privacy

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CLEVELAND -- The teen who was found safe in Cleveland after he was reported missing 13 years ago has released a statement asking for privacy.

Julian Hernandez, 18, was only 5 when he was allegedly taken by his father, Bobby Hernandez, from Birmingham, Ala. Bobby was supposed to be taking Julian to preschool that day, but he was never dropped off. Julian was reported missing by his mother, according to WJW.

He was found in Tremont on Nov. 1.

In a statement released to the media Friday, Julian said he is trying to live a normal life and meet his life goals, and he also asked for privacy.

“I would like to take this opportunity to make a request to the media.  I ask that you respect my privacy and the privacy of my school, my school’s faculty, my friends and my neighbors.  At this point I just simply want to be normal!  I want to go through my day like I did before this week, just being a normal 18-year-old.  I have goals that I am striving to meet, so please, again, respect my request for privacy.  Please, no more spotlights, no more cameras, no more reporters sneaking into my school or showing up at my house, and no more microphones in my face.  I just want to be left alone.  Thank you for respecting my wishes.  --- Julian Hernandez”

When Julian went missing, authorities suspected he was taken by Bobby as a non-custodial parent abduction.

Authorities say that Julian was found when he was trying to apply for college.  He was having problems with his social security number so he went to a guidance counselor for help.

Bobby has been charged in Cuyahoga County in connection with the abduction.