A Chinese teenager who was kidnapped as a toddler has been found after a 15-year search by his dad who handed out an incredible 1 million missing child posters.
Shen Cong, now aged 16, was united with his family on 7th March, ending his father Shen Junliang’s tireless search which began on 4th January 2005, when he was abducted from a rental home in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in South China.
Guangzhou police said a teenager matching Shen Cong’s description was discovered in January in the city of Meizhou about 250 miles away.
Local authorities contacted and met the boy, and later confirmed his identity as Mr Shen’s long-lost son through further DNA tests.
The dad, accompanied by his wife and his brother, drove 1,100 miles to Guangzhou for the hotel room reunion, which was reportedly agreed by both parties, and which happened away from cameras.
Mr Shen, 42, said: “Before the meeting, I thought about what to say to my son. After all, another set of parents had suddenly entered his life.
“Because he’s a minor, there was a lot of consideration for how this might affect him.
“The authorities also advised us to keep our emotions under control because they were concerned he would be frightened if he saw a bunch of strangers crying in front of him.
“It’s hard for an ordinary person to comprehend what it’s like to lose your son for 15 years.
“I wanted to control myself, but the moment I saw him I just couldn’t. I couldn’t stop myself from crying, and our son had to comfort us.
“My wife lost all control. She couldn’t even stand.
“We were relieved to learn that our son has a good life and is receiving a very good education. He’s very well-mannered.”
Shen Cong has been staying with his mum and dad since the reunion, but it is unclear when he will be allowed to travel to his family’s native province of Henan in order to meet his two younger brothers, who are 14 and 12.
According to reports, Guangzhou police are questioning Shen Cong’s foster parents, with Mr Shen refusing to rule out when questioned the possibility of bringing a civil suit against them depending on the depth of their involvement.
In his 15-year search around the country, Mr Shen put up or handed out more than 1 million missing person posters.
In 2016, Chinese authorities revealed they had arrested five kidnapping suspects in connection with Shen Cong’s case.
Main suspect Zhang Weiping confessed to selling Shen Cong and eight other boys between 2003 and 2005, but accused an elusive go-between of arranging each abduction.
Known only as Aunt Mei, the woman is believed to be around 65 years old and may have at some point in her life identified herself as Fan Dongmei.
However, Guangzhou police, who have only found two of the remaining eight kidnapped children to date, say they have not seen any evidence pointing to the existence of such an individual.
Zhang Weiping and one other gang member were sentenced to death in 2018.
The rest were given life sentences.
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