A Chinese man snatched from his parents as a toddler has been reunited with them 32 years later.
Mao Yin was kidnapped as he walked home from nursery with his father aged two-and-a-half in 1988. After he was taken from the entrance of a hotel in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, his mother Lin Jingzhi quit her job and launched a decades-long search to find her missing son.
She sent out more than 10,000 flyers and appeared on a number of TV shows. Lin also joined a group of volunteers dedicated to finding missing children, providing information to police.
Her help saw 29 abducted children reunited with their families in China, but she still had not found her own son. In April last year, police in Xi’an got a tip that a man in Sichuan Province, southwest China, adopted a child from Xi’an for the price of 6,000 yuan (£688).
After a series of investigations, Mao Yin’s DNA was matched to his profile and authorities planned for a reunion. On Monday, he ran towards his crying parents and hugged them for the first time in more than three decades.
The emotional reunion at Xi’an’s municipal public security bureau was watched by well-wishers and journalists all wearing masks due to the coronavirus outbreak. His mother told the crowds: “I would like to thank tens of thousands of people who have helped us.”
She held her son’s face in her hands while his father, Mao Zhenjing, kissed his forehead. Mao Yin had no idea he had been the subject of a high-profile police search. He had been renamed Gu Ningning by the family who raised him in the city of Mianyang, Sichuan, 370 miles away from where he was born.
He now runs an interior design company and plans to stay with his parents in Xi’an before returning to his home in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu. The 34-year-old told state media: “To be honest, I’m not quite sure about the future yet.”
Police are still investigating his disappearance after decades of similar child kidnapping cases remain unsolved in China. Some victims have been forced into a life of crime or the sex trade, while others have been sold illegally and put up for adoption.
Photo Credit: Getty