BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Maria Mancia, 42, reunited with her 22 year old son about two decades after the boy was abducted. The heartfelt reunion happened in San Bernardino County DA’s office on Thursday.
Mancia has long lost hope that she would ever get to embrace her son again. The last time she saw him was when he was 18 months old. She recalled finding her flat ransacked and the toddler missing.
She quickly alerted authorities and pointed at the boy’s husband as a prime suspect. But despite investigators’ best efforts they couldn’t find the kidnapped child. Mancia shared with reporters her devastating experience.
She said that she had no idea what might have happened to the boy. She was only left with a photo of him, which she took from a relative because the boy’s father took all the photos when he left.
Fortunately, investigator Karen Cragg was told in February that the dad and missing son may now live in Puebla, Mexico. When investigators arrived at the place where the two presumably live, the dad was missing but they found the lost son.
To trick him into handing them a DNA sample that could be used to identify him, investigators told the young man that they needed it to track his father. Cragg explained that he had to do this because the boy could have gotten scared when faced with the bare truth about his family.
“We weren’t sure what the circumstances were down there. We had to tread very carefully,”
A few months later, the laboratory analysis showed that the young man’s DNA matched that of Mancia. But investigators didn’t brief the mother on the procedure to shield her from disappointment.
Yet in May, the analysis showed that there was a match. Cragg recalls that he personally delivered the news to the woman, but she couldn’t believe her ears. She also burst into tears at the news that her son was alive.
The woman told reporters that she no longer carried an anguish that her child was gone. She added that she never stopped looking for him for 21 years. Her son, who has American citizenship, plans to pursue a law career and continue his education in America.
He said that his father told him that Mancia abandoned the family. He noted that the good news came as a “cold bucket of water,” but it felt good.
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