A man in China finally found his lost son after travelling over 500,000 km (310,000 mi) on a motorbike across the country on a 24-year search. Police were able to trace Guo Gangtang’s son’s identity using DNA testing, according to China’s Ministry of Public Security. Child abductions are a major problem in China, with thousands of kids falling prey every year. According to BBC, human traffickers had snatched Gangtang’s son when he was two years old in front of their home in Shandong province. A China News report said that the suspects were dating at that time and planned to kidnap a child to sell it for money. When they spotted Gangtang’s son playing outside his home, the female suspect, Tang, abducted him and went to the bus station, where her partner Hu was waiting. The couple then travelled to neighbouring Henan province and sold the child there.
Following his son’s abduction in 1997, Gangtang travelled to over 20 provinces across the country on his motorcycle, chasing tip-offs. The search included several accidents, encounters with highway robbers, and 10 damaged motorcycles.
Gangtang told BBC that he carried his son’s photographs in banners and spent his life savings in this search while sleeping under bridges and begging when he ran out of cash. When reunited with their son in Liaocheng, Shandong, Gangtang and his wife broke down and hugged their son. Gangtang told reporters, “Now that the child has been found, everything can only be happy from now on."
Gangtang’s son’s abduction had inspired a movie in 2015 ‘Lost and Love’, starring Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau. On hearing the news about the reunion, the actor congratulated Gangtang and told the South China Morning Post, “I’d like to say to Brother Guo that I admire your persistence. I also want to salute the police authority for their years of efforts."