One of the worst fears any parent can have is the possibility of never finding their children if they ever go missing. This scenario was a living nightmare for one family from eastern China, until recently. 24 years after his disappearance, Guo Gangtang is finally reunited with his son Guo Xinzhen. At the age of 2, Guo was abducted near his home by an unfamiliar woman in 1997. His disappearance sparked a nationwide search but due to lack of evidence, the case remained unsolved. The authorities collected blood, DNA samples, and other evidence and they continued investigating throughout the last 24 years.
Guo’s father also never gave up looking for his son, eventually embarking on a search of his own across China. He searched 20 provinces, traveled 310,000 miles across the country, and wore out at least 10 motorcycles in the process. During his search, he was unsuccessful at locating his son, but he did help track down more than 100 other abducted children and reunited them with their families.
With the case still being open authorities finally found a lead this year using both an analysis and facial feature comparison. The Ministry of Public Security found a potential match in a man from Henan. Officers tracked the man down and through DNA testing it was confirmed that the man, now a 26-year-old teacher, was Guo’s long-lost son.
Guo and his wife reunited with their son in Liaocheng, Shandong, on Chinese state television (CCTV). In an interview, Guo stated, “Now that the child has been found, everything can only be happy from now on.” His journey and dedication to finding his son were the inspiration behind the 2015 film “Lost and Love”.
In the midst of everything, two suspects, who had been dating at the time of the kidnapping, were arrested for allegedly snatching the boy from his home, then selling him. The suspects a woman named Tang and a man named Hu confessed after interrogation. According to CNN, Tang abducted Guo Xinzhen, she then met up with Hu, and the then-couple took a bus back to Henan, where they sold him.