This family’s 24-year search for their abducted son inspired a movie. They’ve just been reunited

The abduction of 2-year-old Guo Xinzhen in eastern China in 1997 sparked a desperate, seemingly never-ending nationwide search by his parents that inspired filmmakers to bring their story to the big screen.

But this week — 24 years after his disappearance — the search for Guo finally came to an end. Police in Liaocheng City, Shandong province, said Monday they had found Guo, now an adult living in neighboring Henan province — and had reunited him with his parents. Video footage of the reunion on Sunday, released by police, shows the family in tears and embracing tightly, crying out, “We found you, you’ve come back.”

Police said they had arrested two people who confessed to kidnapping and trafficking Guo. Guo had been abducted near his home by an unfamiliar woman, his parents told police in 1997. Authorities collected blood, DNA samples and other evidence — but with limited technology at the time, the case remained unsolved, the police said on their official social media account on Tuesday. The case was never closed, and police say they continued investigating throughout the 24 years.

Guo Xinzhen’s father, Guo Gangtang, never stopped looking, either. After his son went missing, he embarked on a search across China, riding a motorbike through nearly all of the vast country’s provinces, covering 500,000 kilometers (310,685 miles), according to state-run news agency Xinhua. He carried little with him except a bag full of fliers, and a flag emblazoned with a picture of his son. He used up all his savings and racked up staggering debts, burning through 10 motorcycles on his long journey, Xinhua reported.

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