California Mom Reunites with Son 21 Years After His Abduction

ABCNews.com(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) -- Maria Mancia believes in miracles.

The California mother wrapped her hands around a 22-year-old man who towered over her. Tears streamed down her cheeks as they embraced.

Mancia was hugging her son, Steve Hernandez, who was abducted by his father 21 years ago when he was not yet even 2 years old, according to a press release from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. Hernandez's father, Valentin Hernandez, took him to Mexico in 1995, never to be seen nor heard from again, until Thursday.

Calls to Mancia were not returned, but ABC-owned station KABC-TV was there for the reunion.

"Now this anguish I've carried is gone now that I have my son back," Mancia told KABC-TV. "I spent 21 years looking for him not knowing anything."

Mancia and Valentin Hernandez were at odds with each other after the birth of their son, according to the press release. She came home to their Rancho Cucamonga, California, home after work one day to find they had disappeared.

After years of investigation, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Child Abduction Unit got a strong tip in February that Steve Hernandez was in Mexico.

In the press release, lead investigator Karen Cragg explained how authorities were able to make contact with Steve Hernandez and confirm his identity.

“We weren’t positive we located the right person,” Cragg said. “So, we used a ruse and told Steve we were conducting an investigation related to the disappearance of his father. During the conversation, we found several similarities in his history that matched that of our missing boy.”

Investigators were ultimately able to confirm Steve Hernandez's identity with a DNA test.

“We contacted the mother and she was overcome with emotion and very thankful,” Cragg said. “She had never given up after all these years, but had accepted the fact that she may never know her son.... To be able to return him to his country and his mother is an indescribable honor.”

According to the press release, Valentin Hernandez is presumed dead, but without confirmation, a $750,000 warrant for his arrest is still very much active, for kidnapping and child abduction.

After Steve Hernandez made the emotional trip back to the arms of his mother on Thursday, he said he was told by his father that his mother had walked out on them both.

"I lived all these years without my mother, then to find out she's alive in another country, it's emotional," Steve Hernandez told KABC-TV.

He plans to stay in the U.S. and continue law school, which he already started in Mexico, KABC-TV reported.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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