In 1988, two-year-old Mao Yin went missing from a hotel room in Xian, the capital of Shaanxi province in China. His father left him alone for a couple of minutes to fetch water in the hallway. Apparently, someone had been keeping tabs on them and was waiting to strike at the perfect moment.
His parents desperately searched for him for over 30 years. Li Jingzhi and Mao Zhenjing. Li distributed over 100,000 missing child flyers and appeared on countless Chinese television shows to talk about her son and other missing children in China. Eventually, this plight lead her and her husband to join Baby Come Home, a major platform that helps track missing children. Since she joined in 2007, Li reunited 20 families with their missing children.
“Because at that time I had been searching for my son for over two decades, I knew how hard it could be. I also wondered if someone could give the same help to my son to find his family,” Li told the South China Morning Post earlier this year.
Mao was tracked down earlier this month after the police used facial recognition technology to identify him. He was living in the province of Sichuan as an interior designer. They discovered that he had been abducted and sold to a childless couple and was living under the name Gu Ningning. They confirmed his identity using DNA testing.
The family was reunited on May 18th at a news conference. Mao said that he would live with his parents to be closer to them.
No information about the adoptive parents has been released. The abduction is still being investigated.
In 2016, the ministry launched “Reunion”, an online tracking system that helped find 4,385 reported missing children. Hopefully, China continues its extensive research and creates more happy endings such as Mao Yin's.