Man abducted as child in China reunited with parents after 32 years | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Man abducted as child in China reunited with parents after 32 years

Beijing | ByAgence France-Presse
May 19, 2020 07:11 PM IST

Mao Yin was just two when he was snatched outside a hotel in Xi’an in central Shaanxi province in 1988 and sold to a childless couple in neighbouring Sichuan province who raised him as their own son.

A Chinese man kidnapped as a toddler 32 years ago has been reunited with his biological parents, after police used facial recognition technology to help track him down.

This photo taken on May 18, 2020 shows Mao Yin (R) reuniting with his mother Li Jingzhi (C) and father Mao Zhenping (L) in Xian, in China's northern Shaanxi province.(AFP)
This photo taken on May 18, 2020 shows Mao Yin (R) reuniting with his mother Li Jingzhi (C) and father Mao Zhenping (L) in Xian, in China's northern Shaanxi province.(AFP)

Mao Yin was just two when he was snatched outside a hotel in Xi’an in central Shaanxi province in 1988 and sold to a childless couple in neighbouring Sichuan province who raised him as their own son, Xi’an’s public security bureau said in a statement.

Experience Delhi’s rich history through a series of heritage walks with HT! Participate Now

Police “aged” one of Mao’s childhood photos, according to state broadcaster CCTV, and used the model to scan the national database and find close matches.

They were acting on a tipoff that a person in a certain area of Sichuan had bought a child in the late 80’s.

On Monday, the now 34-year-old had a tearful reunion with his birth parents who had never given up the search for their missing boy.

Mao’s mother Li Jingzhi told CCTV that after he was taken, she quit her job and sent over 100,000 flyers to officials and appeared on several TV channels to appeal for his return.

Over the past three decades, Li had followed 300 false leads to see if they were her missing son.

But in late April, police in Xi’an were tipped off that a man in Sichuan province had bought a child from Shaanxi in the late 1980s, according to the statement from Xi’an officials.

Police tracked down Mao and later confirmed he was the abducted son of Li Jingzhi after a DNA test.

Mao’s adoptive parents had renamed him Gu Ningning, and he grew up without any knowledge of his birth parents or that he had been abducted.

At the reunion event, organised by Xi’an police, Mao emerged from a side door to a conference room and ran into his mother’s arms.

“I don’t want him to leave me anymore. I won’t let him leave me anymore,” Li said as she held onto her son’s hand.

Mao, who runs a home decoration business in Sichuan, told CCTV he would move to Xi’an to live with his birth parents.

There are no official statistics on the number of children who disappear every year in China, but a system was established in 2016 to send alerts about missing children through social media and mobile phone texts.

Police have helped more than 6,300 abducted children to reunite with their families over the past decade through the DNA matching system, official news agency Xinhua reported.

Kidnapping and child trafficking became widespread in China from the 1980s, when the draconian one-child rule was enforced, with a cultural obsession with sons also fuelling demand for kidnapped babies.

prw/rox/je/fox

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away! - Login Now! Get Latest World News along with Latest News from India at Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On