Facebook photo leads mother to abducted son after 15 years

In a modern-day miracle, a California woman was reunited with her son 15 years following his abduction, after she stumbled upon a childhood photo he had posted on Facebook

Los Angeles: When Hope Holland lost her son 15 years ago, she never imagined she would be reunited with him through a Facebook post, of all things. Endless attempts to trace him through child services had failed over the years, after he was abducted by his own father. However, true to her name, Hope never gave up.

Jonathan had posted this photo of him and his brother in a bathtub, on September 5, 2013, in the hope that his mother or brother would spot it and make contact.
Jonathan had posted this photo of him and his brother in a bathtub, on September 5, 2013, in the hope that his mother or brother would spot it and make contact.

She finally made a breakthrough in January this year, when she stumbled upon a Facebook photograph of two young boys, and instantly recognised her missing son, Jonathan.

Reunited:  Jonathan (right) is currently in California with his mother Hope and brother Jacob, after 15 years of separation.  Pics/Facebook
Reunited:  Jonathan (right) is currently in California with his mother Hope and brother Jacob, after 15 years of separation. Pics/Facebook

Hope was separated from Jonathan 15 years ago, after his father kidnapped him and fled to Mexico on the pretext of going on a vacation. The abduction came as an absolute shock to Hope, who would not get to see Jonathan, only three years old then, for more than a decade afterward.

“His dad was going on vacation and had permission to take him. It was a normal day. I didn’t think he was not coming back,” she recalled.

Looking for each other
As she spent the years searching for her son, she had no idea that he was also looking for her. In fact, when Jonathan posted the fateful picture on Facebook, he had hope that his mother or brother (also in the pic) would see it and make contact. To his luck, and theirs, this was exactly what happened.

Jonathan had posted the photo, a picture of him and his brother in a bathtub, on September 5, 2013. Hope only came across the picture in January this year, and posted a comment, telling Jonathan that she was his mother and that the other boy in the picture was his brother. She also left her contact details in the post.

“I'm happy he wanted to know me. It has been a long journey. I had lost all hopes of seeing Jonathan again,” said Hope in an interview to NBC News, adding, “He doesn't remember anything about the abduction, but says he'll return to California after he graduates and he hopes being back with his mom and brother Jacob will help jog his memory.”

Together at last
Hope and the now 18-year-old Jonathan recently flew back to Bay Area in California from Mexico after they established Jonathan’s American citizenship with the border authorities. Mother and son were in constant contact until she could bring him to the US, which she did with the help of $1200 raised through a crowd-funding campaign online. Finally together, the family is now working to re-establish the bond that was forcibly broken 15 years ago.

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