He travelled in more than 20 provinces spanning over 500,000km on a motorbike and helped at least seven parents reunite with their abducted children
In a dramatic turn of events, a 51-year-old Chinese man has managed to reunite with his son after a search of almost two decades and a half when he travelled over 500,000km on a motorbike across the country.
The quinquagenarian’s long wait eventually ended on Sunday, with final results of a DNA test confirming his son’s identity, according to media reports.
Hailing from Liaocheng in Shandong province, Guo Gangtang lost his son to human traffickers in 1997 when the boy was only two years old. He was picked up from in front of their home.
The victim, Guo Xinzhen, who is now living in Henan, was found by joint efforts of the police in Shandong and Central China's Henan provinces through DNA sequence alignment.
Two suspects were booked in this connection.
The story of Gantang’s indomitable spirit to find out his son was even was adapted into the 2015 touching movie titled “Lost and Love” starring Hong Kong actor Andy Lau, China's Ministry of Public Security announced on Tuesday.
The police eventually confirmed the identity of the abductee via the latest DNA comparison measures in June. Through careful investigation, the police tracked down and arrested a man surnamed Hu and a woman surnamed Tang, in North China's Shanxi Province.
The police arranged the reunion of the father and his son on Sunday. "He [Guo Xinzhen] is fine. God treated me fairly," Gantang told the media.
Gantang reportedly travelled to more than 20 provinces riding his motorbike. Over then years, while in the process, he broke bones in traffic accidents and even encountered highway robbers. Ten motorbikes have also been damaged.
Carrying around banners imprinted with his son's picture, Gantang spent his life savings for the mission, sleeping under bridges and begging for money when he ran out of cash, reports BBC.
While looking for his son, he has also become a prominent member of missing-persons organisations in China, and has helped at least seven parents reunite with their abducted children through the website he created.
His sharing of knowledge about abduction and human trafficking prevention on social media platforms such as Douyin have become popular.
The two arrestees had planned to kidnap a child with the intention of selling him for money.
After spotting Guo Xinzhen playing alone outside his home, Tang grabbed and took him to the bus station, where Hu, was waiting.
The couple then rushed to neighbouring Henan province and sold him there.
"Now that the child has been found, everything can only be happy from now on," Gantang told reporters.
Wishes pour in
As soon as the news spread, Chinese social media was overwhelmed with messages of support for the father and his son.
"So many parents would have probably given up long ago. He is so amazing and I'm truly happy for him," one person wrote on microblogging platform Weibo.
"All sufferings have their reward," a netizen commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
"I hope more families with missing members can reunite and I hope there are no abductions anymore," another commented.
On hearing about the news, actor Lau through a video message said: "I admire your persistence and pay tribute to the years-long efforts of the public security department."