China’s massive DNA database has successfully facilitated the reunion of kidnapped children and their parents, according to local media.
Seven victims reconnected with their families in a special ceremony organized by the Department of Public Security in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, on Dec. 27, Xinhua reported.
Zhang, 24, was among the victims. He was abducted in 1998 while walking alone after selling fruits with his grandfather in Yibin, southeast of Sichuan.
His kidnapper was a woman who gave him something to eat that immediately knocked him out. He was then taken to Fujian Province, about 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) from his home.
There, he was sold to a family who lived near the city of Yongan, spending the next 19 years far from his parents.
Devastated, Zhang’s mother nearly killed herself by jumping off a bridge.
“My sister said, ‘If you die, how do we do, how about Mom and Dad?’” she told e.thecover.cn.
“I walked quietly to the river, ready to jump from the iron bridge. But thinking about my sister crying, thinking of my family … I went home quietly again.”
So far, authorities capped investigations of six major cases and uncovered 52 victims via DNA. The whereabouts of the kidnappers, however, are unclear.
Based on 2013 data, at least 10,000 children are kidnapped in China every year, the South China Morning Post cited. But the U.S. State Department and Chinese media peg much higher figures, reporting 20,000 to 100,000.