There is nothing more horrifying for a mother than losing her child. What’s even worse is when the child is kidnapped from her and she doesn’t know whether he/she is alive and well. I can’t even begin to imagine how that would feel. For one mother, finding her kidnapped son felt almost impossible.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, almost 800,000 children are reported missing each year. In the past, finding an abducted child was incredibly difficult. But in recent years, the likelihood of finding an abducted child has increased.
Ernie Allen, who is the president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, reports that finding 99% of children who have been reported missing in recent years have been returned home alive.
Hope Holland, who is the mother of her son Jonathan, spent 15 years without her baby boy. Her kidnapped son, Jonathan was taken from her in 2000. Jonathan was only three when he was separated from his mother. For the first three years, Holland devoted all her time to finding her son. She did anything and everything to try and find him. Unfortunately, the trail went cold for many years.
Just when Holland thought there was no hope, the case caught a break in 2006. The investigator who was working the case managed to track her ex-husband in San Diego, California. But as quickly as the case caught a break, it went away. The investigator disappeared unexpectedly and Holland waited months before a replacement was given.
The replacement investigator took a different direction to the case and contacted Holland’s ex-husband. Holland told the investigator that she didn’t want him to do that. She feared that by contacting him it might spook him and cause him to go across the border to Mexico. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
Despite the setback, Holland had to be strong. She was still a single mother of her oldest son Jacob, so she had to work to support her household. But she never gave up on her son and continued to pursue leads about Jonathan’s whereabouts.
In 2015, Holland caught yet another break. She was signing up for an online video training session and was encouraged to like the company’s page. While doing this, a series of photos popped up and one of them caught her eye.
One of the photos was of her two sons, Jonathan and Jacob. She recognized the photo because she was the one who took it. Tears began to flow from her eyes as she began to realize that she may have found her son after all these years! But what was her next step?
Holland saw that someone else liked the photo, and also noticed that the person was good friends with her son. Through that person, Holland gained Jonathan’s contact information. Three days after seeing the photo, Holland spoke to her son for the first time in almost 20 years.
Holland finally got the chance to wrap her arms around her son on July 1, 2015. Jonathan was still a high school student in Mexico. But he informed his mother that once classes were done he would move back to California. Jonathan made good on his promise and moved back to California in the fall of 2016.