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Touching conclusion

DUNYA NEWS – After devoting the majority of the past 22 years to locating his abducted son, a Chinese man has achieved a breakthrough by locating his son in a city located 900 kilometres (km) away.

It was on October 9, 2001, that Lei Wuze departed from his residence in Yueyang, Hunan Province, oblivious to the fact that it would mark the final occasion he would lay eyes on his son for over 20 years. Leaving his four-year-old boy, Yuechuan, in the care of a neighbour, little did he know the separation would last for such an extended duration.

The woman later told police that they had met a suspicious man on the street who had later laid a trap for the boy and abducted him when she wasn’t paying attention. Lei was devastated, but he never lost hope of one day seeing his boy again.

He immediately embarked on long trips in and around Yueyang, holding pictures of his son and stopping people in traffic to ask if they had seen him. Years passed, but Lei Wuze persisted, and this year, his resilience finally paid off.

Despite getting older and feeling more tired with each passing year, he never gave up. Instead, he only tried harder in recent years, even turning to experimental facial recognition technology.

Lei Wuze in search of his son, who was abducted 22 years ago. PHOTO: DUNYA NEWS

During the last two decades of searching for his son, Lei Wuze met more than 300 policemen, some of whom were more helpful than others, and visited hundreds of cities across China, rushing there for the vaguest trace of Yuechuan’s whereabouts.

He always returned home disappointed, until this year. Lei Wuze’s saving grace came from a cutting-edge facial-recognition software dubbed ‘Face Recognition 2.0 Prototype’. It was used by police to find matches using an ageing model based on photos of Lei Yuechuan as a child.

Earlier this year, Wuze was informed that his DNA perfectly matched that of a 26-year-old man in Shenzen, over 900km away from where Yuechuan had been taken. A second DNA test was conducted, and the match was confirmed.

It was a touching conclusion to a heartbreaking story spanning over two decades.

It is unclear whether Yuechuan has any family of his own yet, and if he wants to come live with his biological family, but the simple fact that Lei finally found his long-lost son is sure to at least bring his family some much-needed closure.

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