Map drawn from memory helps reunite kidnapped Chinese man with family

  • 08 Jan - 14 Jan, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A Chinese man who was abducted over 30 years ago has been reunited with his biological mother after drawing a map of his childhood village from memory. Li Jingwei was just four years old when he was lured away from his home and sold into a child trafficking ring. On 24 December, he shared a hand-drawn map to the video sharing app, Douyin, which police matched to a small village and a woman whose son had disappeared. After DNA tests, they were reunited in Yunnan province. Video footage of the reunion showed the pair meeting for the first time in over three decades and shows Li Jingwei carefully removing his mother's coronavirus mask to examine her face before breaking down in tears and embracing her. "Thirty-three years of waiting, countless nights of yearning, and finally a map hand-drawn from memory, this is the moment of perfect release after 13 days," Mr Li wrote on his Douyin profile ahead of the anticipated reunion. "Thank you, everyone who has helped me reunite with my family." Mr Li was abducted near the south-western city of Zhaotong in Yunnan Province in 1989 and subsequently sold to a family living over 1,800km away. Now living in Guangdong Province in southern China, he had no success asking his adoptive parents or consulting DNA databases about his origins. So, he turned to the internet.