A Chinese father and mother met their son, who was kidnapped in a hotel in 1988 again, 32 years after the accident.
The son, Mao Yin, was kidnapped when he was two years old, when his father stopped to bring some water for him while they were on the way from the nursery home.
Parents across the country searched for it in vain, and his mother distributed more than 100,000 leaflets in the search.
The family reunited again at a police press conference on Monday, and the son, now 34, said he planned to spend time with his parents.
“I want to thank tens of thousands of people who helped us,” said Maos mother.
What happened to the son?
Mao Yin was born on February 23, 1986. His mother described him in an interview with the “South China Morning Post” in January, before finding him, saying he was a “very smart, beautiful, and healthy” child.
On October 17, 1988, Maos father was attending him from kindergarten in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province.
The child asked his father for some water to drink, so they stopped at the hotel entrance. As the father cooled some hot water for his son, turning away for a few moments, the child was kidnapped.
The family searched for him in and around Xi’an, and hung flyers searching for him. At one point the family imagined they had found him, but it was a false hope.
The mother, Mrs. Lee, quit her job to find her child, and distributed more than 100,000 publications in more than 10 provinces and municipalities, to no avail.
Over the years, the mother appeared on TV programs to ask for help, including X Factor. The mother followed 300 clues, the newspaper said, but the descriptions did not match him.
Mrs. Lee started a volunteer work in 2007 with a group called “My Child Go Home” to help parents search for their missing children.
According to the official media, the mother helped reunite 29 children with their families, while her child was still missing. Lee kept working with the group.
How did you find Mao Yin?
In April the police received a report from a man from Sichuan Province, in southwest China, 1,000 kilometers from Xi’an, who had adopted a child several years ago, according to official media.
The police found the adopted child, now 34, and examined his DNA to find out if it was related to Mao Jingjing and Li Jingji. The result of the examination was positive.
Mao Yen, whose name has changed to Gu Ningning, is run by a home decoration company. He said he was “not sure” about the future, but he might spend time with his parents.
The police said he was sold as a child to a childless couple for 6000 yuan ($ 840), according to today’s prices.
The mother learned of the good news on May 10, the day the Chinese celebrate Mother’s Day. And she said, “This is the best gift I get in my life.”
The investigations that began in 1988 are still ongoing.
How common is child trafficking in China?
Kidnapping and trafficking of children has been a problem in China for decades.
There is no official estimate of the numbers of kidnapped children, but there is 14893 stickers for missing male children and 7411 stickers for missing girls on the “My Child Back Home” website.
In 2015, it estimated that 20,000 children were kidnapped annually in China.
In 2009, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security created a DNA registry, which has so far helped find 6,000 missing children.
In May 2016, the Ministry launched a system called “family unification” that, as of June 2019, resulted in 4,000 children finding their families.