The legend of a desperate father whose son was kidnapped 24 years ago has concluded with a surprisingly happy ending with a tearful reunion.
In 1997, Guo Gangtang’s son Xinzhen was abducted in front of his home in Shandong Province, China, when the child was only two years old. Over the next two decades, Mr. Guo rode 10 different motorcycles for more than 500,000 kilometers, trying to find him.
Guo was injured and robbed in an epic search, which inspired the 2015 film Lost and Love starring Hong Kong actor Andy Lau. He spent his family’s life savings and sometimes begged for change to buy gasoline for his motorbike.
He took pictures of his son and followed up for clues, and finally found the kidnappers of his son. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security said the suspects were a couple desperately in need of money. They found the child playing and took him and sold it to a human trafficker.
Encouraged by the father’s determination, the authorities also continued searching, and finally identified the couple who sold Xinzhen and the trafficker who bought him in a nearby province, and used the DNA of the child’s parents to determine his identity. Those involved in the kidnapping have been arrested.
The police said the son was in good health, but did not disclose how he spent the past 24 years. Some local news reports stated that he was sold to a childless couple who raised him as their own child.
Lau, who played Guo in the film, expressed his joy at the reunion. Lau wrote on social media: “Today I feel very happy and inspired, because brother Guo’s son is finally reunited with his parents after 24 years with the efforts of the Chinese authorities.”
“I want to tell brother Guo that I admire his perseverance, and to also thank the authorities for their years of hard work. I hope everyone can join me to support anti-human trafficking, and that more distraught families can be reunited soon.”
During his search, the father became an important asset of Chinese missing persons’ organizations. Unfortunately, these organizations deal with thousands of kidnappings each year. The reunion was broadcast on China’s national television station CCTV. During the period, the mother could be heard crying “Baby, you are back.”
“Now that the child is found, everything in the future can only be happiness.” Guo Wengui said during the reunion. “For me, this is an important day.”