Luo Gang, abducted on his journey to kindergarten in the Chinese province of Sichuan 23 years ago and taken to a far away city, has finally found his family after years of looking, according to reports in Chinese media.
Incredibly, Luo was able to find the family with the help of a simple tool many people use every day — Google Maps.
The heartwarming story has been brought to the public by Fujian province’s local news portal nhaidu.com.
Luo was just five-years-old when he disappeared from a small town near Guangan, southwestern Sichuan province. His parents searched for him but eventually gave up all hope and adopted a young girl.
Luo instead grew up hundreds of miles away in Sanming city in southeastern Fujian province.
While his adopted family were apparently loving, Luo was determined to find his birth parents. “Every day before I went to bed, I forced myself to re-live the life spent in my old home,” he told reporters.
He drew a map of what he remembered about his home, including two distinctive bridges, and last October he uploaded it to Baby Come Home, a charity dedicated to locating missing children through the help of volunteers (it has been claimed that as many as 76,000 families lose a child in China each year).
A volunteer wrote back to Luo with some vital information — a family in the city of an area called “Yaojiaba” in the Sichuan county of Linshui had lost their child some 23 years ago. Could that child be Luo?
Luo used Google Maps to zoom in on Yaojiaba, and it was immediately clear to him this was his home.
“That’s it! That’s my home,” Luo reportedly shouted in tears.
Luo was finally reunited with his family — nhaidu.com has pictures of the tearful reunion. It is not clear if charges against his adopted family will be brought, the South China Morning Post reports, or if they played a direct role in his kidnapping.
Amazingly this isn’t the first time a lost child has used Google Maps to find their home decades after the fact.
Last year there was the incredible case of Saroo Munshi Khan, who got lost on the train when just five-years-old and ended up wandering the streets of Calcutta, miles away from his family. 20 years later, having been adopted by an Australian family, Saroo was finally reunited with his mother after extensive searching for childhood memories on Google Maps.
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