That man, Bobby Hall, has been on the streets of Oahu for years, and bouncing in and out of jail since 2009.
And last month he was arrested after harassing two city workers in a municipal parking lot.
After finding the news report, Hall called police to see if they could connect her with her son. But that conversation proved to be a frustrating near miss.
He was actually in jail the night his mother called police looking for him. But she says police didn't tell her that.
By the time she found out where he was, he had already been released.
"He was such an adorable man. He looked like Brad Pitt. So you can imagine my shock seeing that mug shot of my son," Hall said.
Hall said Bobby moved to Hawaii with his dad back in the 1980s.
She said he always kept in touch with her and his siblings on the mainland. Relatives remember him as a talented musician and skilled carpenter.
They also recall his trouble with alcohol.
"If he's mentally ill, it's from whatever substances he's been abusing," Hall said.
She believes the sudden loss of his teenage son about 10 years ago combined with the death of his father shortly afterwards pushed him over the edge.
A few months after that, Hall said her area code changed, which meant he likely couldn't reach her if he tried.
"He thinks I either passed away or moved away because he got a message that this was no longer a working number," Hall said.
When Hall found her son again, she called HPD in hopes they could help track him down.
"He was there when I called them. They just flat out lied to me. Lied to me," Hall said. "They said he's not here and we're not going to look for him. If we arrest him again we'll give him your number."
HPD didn't respond to Hall's claims, but said that she can call back and she'll be put in touch with an officer.
Meanwhile, Hall is still looking for her son. She said she wants to get him into treatment.
"God is at work here. We've been praying," she said. "My mission is to get help for him any way I can."
She also has this message for anyone who's had a run-in with her son.
"We've never known him to be violent so that's very upsetting to us," she said. "On his behalf, my family wants to apologize to anyone that he may have harmed or caused distress to. We are so sorry for that."
Outreach workers have joined in to try and locate Bobby Hall. If you've seen him, you're asked to call (808) 387-7126.