China Focus: Father reunites with abducted son after 24 years of arduous search

Source: Xinhua| 2021-07-14 01:31:10|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Guo Gangtang, whose unfazed spirit to find his abducted son inspired the 2015 road drama film "Lost and Love," finally reunited with his son after 24 years.

The movie portrays Guo's arduous journey riding a motorbike across China in search of his son.

Police located his son after clues pointed to the suspected whereabouts in central China's Henan Province in June, and arranged the family reunion in Liaocheng City, east China's Shandong Province, on Sunday after a DNA test confirmed their relationship.

Two suspects involved in the human trafficking of Guo's son have been nabbed.

"We are really happy for the family, and we have accomplished what we had aspired for so many years," said Tong Bishan, deputy director of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Public Security, at a press conference on Tuesday.

"What impressed us is, as the father of an abducted kid, Guo Gangtang proactively participated in the anti-abduction volunteer activities while searching for his own child over the past 24 years, and have constantly fed back information on other abducted children to the public security organs," Tong told reporters.

In September 1997, Guo's two-year-old son was abducted by an unknown woman when he was playing near his home in Liaocheng City.

More than 500 people searched for the boy in nearby bus and train stations, but to no avail.

Local police immediately set up a special team to investigate the case but failed to locate the child due to the limited technological means in those days.

However, Guo didn't give up hope. He embarked on an arduous search through the world's most populous nation, carrying a messenger bag full of flyers and a flag bearing a picture of his son strapped to the back -- a scene that features in the film "Lost and Love."

Covering around 500,000 km, Guo's 24-year journey to locate his son took him to nearly all provincial regions across China at the expense of 10 beat-up motorcycles. He burned through all his savings and even once incurred debts worth hundreds of thousands of yuan.

Though he did not find his own child, he helped many people find their relatives. Police have managed to locate more than 100 abducted children who were missing for many years with the help of clues provided by Guo.

Guo's son was eventually found after the Ministry of Public Security launched a nationwide campaign named "Tuanyuan" -- meaning reunion in Chinese -- in January to solve cold cases involving child abduction.

Police have located and rescued 2,609 missing or abducted children this year including adults who had gone missing or were kidnapped as kids. One victim was traced after a span of 61 years.

During the period, they have cracked 147 cold cases involving child abduction and trafficking and arrested a total of 372 suspects linked to such crimes, data from the ministry showed.

Andy Lau, who stars as the father of the abducted child in "Lost and Love," expressed his admiration for Guo's perseverance in searching for his son and hailed the police for their years of effort.

"I hereby appeal to all my friends to join me in supporting anti-trafficking efforts and I hope that more separated families can be reunited as soon as possible," Andy Lau said in a video message released after he learned the news.

"What I want most is to realize my dream for the rest of my life," reads Guo's profile bio of his short video platform account.

His dream has certainly come true. Enditem