Hero in China: Father Travels 13 Years Seeking Lost Son, Finds 7 Other Children

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REUTERS / David Gray

Guo Gangtang has been on a quest across China since his two-year-old son’s mysterious disappearance in 1997.  13 years and 400,000 kilometers later, the hopeful father is still searching for his son.

Although he hasn’t found now 15-year-old Guo Zhong, Gangtang has found seven other lost children for other families.

(See the Top 10 Unsolved Crimes.)

Gangtang has sought help from newspapers, police bureaus, and relatives and friends all over China.  When promising clues arise, he sets off on his motorbike, surviving on just RMB 11 ($1.66) a day.

Chinese children are often stolen and resold to barren couples.  Male children, like Zhong, are particularly desirable, because Chinese culture puts the burden of taking care of elderly parents on sons.

(Read about stolen children in China seeking answers.)

After all these years, what keeps Gangtang going? A lingering hope that he will one day reunite with Zhong.

“I have a feeling that if I carry on, one day he will come to find me.  Maybe he will watch TV or go online and read about me. It may jolt some memory or something that doesn’t fit with the life he knows.  Even if it’s not in the next couple of years, even if it’s after he gets marries, it’s not too late.” (via CNN Go)