In China, a father’s mad quest to find his kidnapped son

After the kidnapping of his 2-year-old son in 1997, Guo Gangtang, 27, gets on an old motorbike and travels around China in search of any clue to find him. His relentless quest makes him a living legend. In 2012, still without news, he created an association to help other parents in the same situation.

In 2015, a filmmaker seizes on history. Guo becomes the colorful hero of an almost banal crime in a country where kidnappings of young boys and abandonment of girls were legion not long ago. The end of the movie, Shi gu (“Lost and isolated”), Lost and love in English, remained open.

500,000 kilometers of route

Twenty-four years after the fact, reality is better than fiction: the family is finally reunited. On Sunday, July 11, in Liaocheng, Shandong, their home region, Guo Gangtang, his wife, Zhang Wenge, and their son, Guo Xinzhen, hugged each other under the watchful eye of local media who did not miss a beat. crumb of reunion.

Behind them, police officers in blue uniforms witnessed the scene. They are the ones who finally found the child thanks to DNA tests. The two arrested suspects confessed to having participated in the kidnapping. The affair sparked a wave of emotion across the country: over the next few days, it was most commented on on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, with hundreds of millions of shares and views.

Andy Lau, Hong Kong superstar who played the role of the father in Shi gu, congratulated the family: “Thanks to the film, I got to know Father Guo. Today I am extremely happy. His son has finally been returned to him, thanks to the determination of the police. I want to tell him: I admire your tenacity! “ The director, Peng Sanyuan, also made a comment: “Today, Lost and Love finally has its true happy ending. “ An improbable end.

On this day in 1997, little Xinzhen is playing in front of the family house, while his mother is preparing the meal. When he does not come home to eat, his parents mobilize neighbors, friends and family to find him. After a few months of fruitless research, Guo Gangtang decides to broaden his field of investigation and sets off on a motorcycle. At the back, he installed two banners printed with the photo of the chubby toddler, bundled up in an orange puffer jacket, and the inscription “My son, where are you?” Dad wants to see you come home ”.

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