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.


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