When a person goes missing, there comes a point when it’s assumed they will never be found. But Sun Haiyang and Peng Siying never lost hope when it came to their son.
At just 4 years old, Sun Zhuo was abducted near his parents’ shop. A man lured him away with a toy, quickly snatching him up as soon as he could. When Siying discovered what had happened, she frantically woke up Haiyang, who was taking a nap.
“I remember I ran out and yelled my son’s name in the street that night,” Haiyang said, “but what troubled me most was that each time I stood at an intersection, I didn’t know which direction to go.”
The couple immediately reached out to the authorities, but they were told they couldn’t do anything until the child had been missing for 24 hours. Even then, according to Haiyang, they never received much help.
So they did everything they could on their own, starting with changing the name of their store to “A Shop to Look for My Son” and posting photos of both Zhuo and his kidnapper for all to see. They also sold properties so they could afford to travel around China, visiting nearly every region. Still, they had no luck finding him.
Even reward money didn’t seem to make a difference. They started out by offering 100,000 yuan ($13,280) and ended up raising the offer to 197,705 yuan ($31,000).
“I was ready to spend all my money, and even borrow money,” the terrified dad said.
While Haiyang and Siying were desperately searching for their son, word of their story spread, encouraging more conversations about the prevalence of kidnapping in China and the strict one-child policy that was in place at the time. Their story was so powerful, in fact, that it inspired a popular film in 2014 called “Dearest.”
Despite all the attention they garnered, they went years without any word on Zhuo’s whereabouts. That is, until 14 years later, when they finally got the news they’d been fighting for all this time: Their son had been found!
Using China’s DNA database and facial recognition technology, Zhuo was found in Eastern China. It turns out that Zhuo had been bought by a couple who also had two daughters. Thankfully, it seems he grew up well cared for in a happy home.
We can’t even begin to imagine Haiyang and Siying’s reaction when the DNA test confirmed their son had been found, but their reunion was caught on camera, and it was just as emotional as you’d imagine.
“After 14 years and 57 days, he is a head taller than his mother. He brought us local specialties from where he lives now,” Haiyang said. “He is the Sun Zhuo that all of us have looked for all these years.”
Watch their unbelievable reunion in the video below, and don’t forget to share this tear-jerking story.
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