Local media referred to his abduction as one of the country’s “most notorious”missing child cases. 2-year-old Mao Yin was returning home from his kindergarten with his father, Mao Zhenjing in Xian, in the late 80s.
His mother told the South China Morning Post that Yin felt thirsty and his father stopped in front of a hotel to get him some water. Li Jingzhi said Yin was snatched away while the father looked away briefly.
According to a BBC report, he was sold to a couple who didn’t have children for the equivalent of $840.
Yin’s parents dedicated their lives to tracking him down. Li left her job to concentrate on the search full time. She became a popular face on Chinese television, always appealing for help in finding her son.
Xian police used facial recognition technology to analyze old photos of Mao. They created a simulated image of what he might look like and run it through the national database. He was found living 600 miles away under a new name.
They were reunited on Monday during a police news conference streamed by Chinese state television, CCTV. Officials said investigations into Yin’s disappearance is still being investigated.