It was a story that captured the hearts of people around the world, the abduction of a 2-year-old boy and the parents that never gave up hope of finding him.
Guo Xinzhen was abducted near his home in 1997 by an unfamiliar woman, his parents told police.
Authorities collected blood, DNA samples and other evidence but with limited technology at the time, the case remained unsolved, the police said on their official social media account .
Police said they never gave up the search and neither did his distraught parents.
After 24 years, a Chinese couple was reunited with their son who was abducted as a toddler outside their front gate. Police found Guo Xinzhen by searching for images of people who looked like he might as an adult. A DNA test confirmed his identity. https://t.co/vHOzAf6HRx
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 14, 2021
Guo Gangtang embarked on a motorcycle ride that would take him across China covering over 300,000 miles in search of his son.
Carrying with him a bag full of fliers, and a flag with a picture of his son, he used all his savings and accumulated large debts in his quest to find his boy, getting through 10 motorcycles and suffering numerous accidents.
His story attracted worldwide attention when in 2015 it was turned into a movie Lost and Love, starring Hong Kong film star Andy Lau, which led to a nationwide anti-child trafficking campaign.
The original family in the movie Lost and Love were finally reunited with their child after 24 years of separation. The 51-year-old Guo Guangtang and his wife hugged and cried with their missing son, Guo Xinzhen. pic.twitter.com/H8yB4mgCMm
— Skyscape Times (@SkyscapeT) July 14, 2021
Guo never found his son but managed to help track down more than 100 other abducted children and reunite them with their families, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
But after 24 years of searching, the family were finally reunited with their son thanks to a DNA breakthrough.
The abduction of 2-year-old Guo Xinzhen in eastern China in 1997 sparked a desperate, seemingly never-ending nationwide search by his parents that inspired a movie.
But this week — 24 years after his disappearance — the search for Guo finally ended. https://t.co/JQfHoVFKIa
— CNN (@CNN) July 17, 2021
Using DNA analysis and facial feature comparison, the boy, now an adult, was found living at an address in neighboring Henan province. Police said they had arrested two people who confessed to kidnapping and trafficking Guo.
Video footage showed the tearful family reunion of them hugging each other tightly and crying out: “We found you, you’ve come back.”
“He [Guo Xinzhen] is fine. God treated me fairly. Now that the child has been found, everything can only be happy from now on,” his father said.
Police said the woman arrested admitted she had abducted Guo Xinzhen in 1997 and she and a man traveled to Henan where they sold the boy.
It is unclear who Guo Xinzhen was sold to, and no further details of his childhood were released.
A Chinese family was finally reunited with his abducted son after 24 years of searching across China.
Guo Xinzhen, who is now a 26-year-old teacher, was kidnapped aged two in September 1997 by an unknown woman. She then immediately sold Guo to a family in nearby Henan province pic.twitter.com/lmWFCmYRBW
— TRT World (@trtworld) July 15, 2021
I cannot imagine the despair and heartache these parents have been through; his father’s search for him is inspirational.
I’m so glad he’s been found and reunited with his family.
Help us wish this family a future of happiness and healing by sharing this story.