It was all love and joy for a kindergartner in China until, one day, he returned home from school to realize that his parents had left him.
The sad incident occurred in Yueqing, Zhejiang Province, on May 16. Earlier in the day, the boy, four-year-old Xiao Rong, was dropped off at school by his father who had been living with him.
However, to the concern of Xiao’s teacher, his father — who was usually punctual — did not return to fetch him after dismissal, AsiaOne noted.
The teachers tried to reach Xiao’s father over the phone and through WeChat, but to no avail. As they became suspicious, they later inspected the child’s backpack and saw that it was packed with winter clothes.
When they brought him home, all that was left were locked doors. At that point, Xiao told his teachers, “My father has gone back to Guizhou.”
Later, the teachers filed a police report, while Xiao spent the night at his teacher’s house.
The teacher was reportedly able to contact Xiao’s mother but argued that she was stationed in the province and afraid to return for she might get beaten up.
Authorities were able to track Xiao’s parents and discovered that they were in a domestic dispute. This time, his father argued that he will not raise him without his wife’s help.
“A kid below the age of 6 has no social network beyond their parents. If they completely disappear from their world, the trauma could stay with them for the rest of their life,” Li Zikun, a social worker in Beijing, told Sixth Tone. “The psychological damage that has been done to the child will only diminish if he returns to a healthy family environment and receives plenty of love and care from both parents.”
While both promised to pick him up as mandated, no one has showed up as of May 22. Sadly, Xiao’s fate remains unknown.