A Chinese man abducted as a child 33 years ago was finally reunited with his family with help from the authorities and a map of his home village that he drew from memory.
The reunion happened in Yunnan Province on Saturday after a DNA test, BBC reported. A video posted on social media shows Li Jingwei, 37, breaking down in tears after meeting his biological mother for the first time in more than three decades.
Li was only 4 years old when he was reportedly lured from his home in a village in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, by a neighbor using a toy in 1989. He was later sold to a human trafficking ring and was adopted by a family in Lankao, a county in Henan Province, Daily Mail reported.
After being abducted, Li drew pictures of his home village at least once a day to remember what it looked like. The man, who lives in Guangdong Province with his wife and children, turned to social media to ask for help after his adoptive parents failed to disclose details about his childhood.
Li created a Douyin account, and he posted a video on Dec. 24, 2021, that eventually attracted the attention of the authorities, who matched his drawing in the video to a village in Zhaotong.
“This is a map of my home area that I have drawn from memory,” Li said in the video.
Before reuniting with his biological mother, Li expressed his gratitude on Douyin: “Thirty-three years of waiting, countless nights of yearning, and finally a map hand-drawn from memory, this is the moment of perfect release after 13 days. Thank you, everyone who has helped me reunite with my family.”
In 2015, the U.S. Department of State estimated the number of children being abducted every year in China to be around 20,000, but Chinese state media proposed that this number could be higher at 200,000 annually.
A Chinese man was sentenced to 10 years in jail after he was found guilty of selling his five children to human traffickers between 2012 and 2020 for a total of 180,000 yuan (approximately $28,000), as NextShark previously reported.