Parents Reunite With Son 24 Years After He Was Kidnapped At Age 2
Guo Xinzhen was snatched outside his family’s home in China when he was just a toddler and sold to a couple, police say.
A couple has reunited with their son who was just 2 years old when he was abducted outside their family home in China over two decades ago.
On July 11, Guo Gangtang and his wife, Zhang Wenge, hugged and cried with now-26-year-old Guo Xinzhen during an emotional reunion in Liaocheng, Shandong.
According to NPR, Guo Xinzhen was just a toddler when a man and woman grabbed him and transported him to Hebei province in order to sell the child to a couple living in central China.
After the kidnapping, Guo Gangtang, now 51, became an activist and advocate for missing children and reportedly wore out 10 motorcycles driving through all but four of China’s 34 provinces and regions searching for his son. According to the police ministry, he was instrumental in helping to return 100 abducted children to their parents.
In a 2015 television interview, Zhang Wenge described the pain she suffered after her little boy vanished. “What use is it for me to live?” she reportedly asked, stating, “It was me who lost the child.”
Blood samples from Zhang Wenge and her husband were uploaded to a DNA database of suspected victims of kidnapping but there was never a hit.
In June, however, law enforcement officials got a break in the case after searching databases and locating an image of a man who they thought could resemble what Guo Xinzhen might look like as an adult.
DNA tests confirmed the man was the couple’s long-missing child.
A man and woman, identified only as Tang and Hu, allegedly confessed to abducting the boy as well as three others and could now face a punishment of up to death if convicted at trial, according to the police ministry.
NPR reported it is unclear if the couple who allegedly bought Guo Xinzhen from the pair will face charges in connection to the kidnapping.
Guo Xinzhen said now that he has found his biological parents, he will see them regularly but plans to continue living in Henan.
“He is a great father,” he told reporters of Guo Gangtang. “I am proud of him.”