For nearly 24 years, the father crossed China by motorbike. With banners displaying photos of a 2-year-old boy flying from the back of his bike, he traveled more than 300,000 miles, all in pursuit of one goal: finding his kidnapped son.
This week, Guo Gangtang’s search finally ended. He and his wife were reunited with their son, now 26, after the police matched their DNA, according to China’s public security ministry.
In a scene captured by Chinese state television, the trio clung to each other tearfully at a news conference on Sunday in Liaocheng, Mr. Guo’s hometown in northern Shandong Province.
“My darling, my darling, my darling,” Mr. Guo’s wife, Zhang Wenge, sobbed as she embraced the young man. “We found you, my son, my son.”
“He’s been delivered into your hands, so you need to love him well,” Mr. Guo said, trying to comfort her even as his own voice shook.
The apparent happy ending captivated China, where Mr. Guo has become something of a folk hero. His cross-country odyssey, during which he said he was thrown from his bike at least once and slept outdoors when he could not afford a hotel, inspired the 2015 film “Lost and Love,” starring the renowned Hong Kong actor Andy Lau.
After the reunion, Chinese social media filled with congratulatory messages. Hashtags about the Guo family were viewed hundreds of millions of times. “Today, ‘Lost and Love’ finally has a real happy ending,” the movie’s director, Peng Sanyuan, said in a video on Douyin, a social media app.
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SOURCE: The New York Times, Vivian Wang and Joy Dong