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article imageMan uses Google Maps to locate family 23 years after kidnapping

By Anne Sewell     May 18, 2013 in Odd News
A Chinese man, who was abducted 23 years ago when only five years old, has used Google maps to track down his home town and has traced his biological family.
The only landmarks he remembered from his hometown were that it had two bridges. This turned out to be sufficient to find home.
Luo Gang was kidnapped at the age of five in the Sichuan province on his way to kindergarten. He was then taken hundreds of miles east to Fujian province, where he was adopted by a family in Sanming.
However, Luo never gave up hope that he would one day find his biological parents. He told Fujian's Strait News, "Every day before I went to bed, I forced myself to relive the life spent in my old home."
"Memories of home, in front of a small river...I am wearing a red sweater embroidered with a white swan that mother knit me," he recalled.
Luo kept that sweater but unfortunately when he was 13 years old, his home collapsed, burying the only physical memory he had of his mother and his family.
Another memory, however, stuck with him into adulthood, that his hometown had two bridges. Turns out that is all he needed to find home.
He posted what he could remember of his story on a Chinese website, specializing in reuniting families with missing children, and one contributor responded, giving details of a family whose son was abducted 23 years ago in Sichuan province. The contributor said that they lived in Linshui County, north of Ping Xinqiao.
Luo then went onto Google maps and zoomed in on the satellite view of that area, and was able to locate the two bridges which he remembered from his childhood. The minute he zoomed in on an area called “Yaojiaba” near the Sichuan town, Luo recognised the two bridges.
“That’s it! That’s my home,” shouted Luo, in tears.
Shortly after that, Luo, who was originally named Huang Jun, was reunited with his parents. Turns out they had never given up the search for their son. His father then underwent a paternity test which proved that Luo was, in fact, the couple's son.
His mother, Dai Jianfang, said, "I felt heartbroken. I couldn't eat or sleep and I cried every day thinking my son was missing and didn't have enough food or clothes out there."
It turns out that Luo didn't just regain his two loving parents, as he now also has a sister, adopted by his parents after they gave up hope of seeing him again.
Reportedly cases of child abduction and trafficking are relatively common in China and around 76,000 families lost a child during 2012. Many of the kidnapped children are young boys who are then sold to families wishing to have a son.
It is not clear whether Luo's adoptive parents will face criminal charges in the matter.
More about China, Ping Xinqiao, Chinese, Google maps, Sichuan
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