Abducted Toddler Found: 24 Years Later Kidnapped Boy Reunites With Father
Sun Bin was only a 4-year-old toddler when he was abducted by traffickers in China. Tuesday, which marked 24 years since he was kidnapped from a farmers market, the Chinese man was reunited with his father, according to a CNN report.
Bin, now 28, finally got the chance to meet his father again, and a sister he never knew; she was not born at the time. At a police station in Chengdu, surrounded by a cadre of press members, the Chinese man was introduced to his surviving next of kin. At the sight of his father, the once abducted toddler couldn’t find the means to contain himself. After 24 years, he dropped to his knees, overcome by emotion and his father’s familiar hug.
“Dad, I am back.”
Bin’s dad, Sun Youhon, 60, tried his best to console his son. Cameras were fixed on him the moment he knelt down and gripped his son’s arms.
“You are a man. Do not cry.”
Incredible moment Chinese boy is reunited with his father – 24 Years after being kidnapped http://t.co/Q8CM7CwBLJ
— Anas Khattab خطاطبة (@5atatbeh) January 15, 2015
He spoke later to reporters about his thoughts ahead of meeting his son after two decades. He was clearly taken aback at how his son looked as a man. The only memory etched into his brain was a grainy image of his son taken back in 1991, just days before he was kidnapped by a strange man. Youhong shared his mixed emotions and reflected back to the dark day in his life.
“I had no idea what he would look like. I was happy. I was grateful. But I was also bitter.”
Twenty-four years ago when he was abducted, Bin, just a toddler, was playing near a vegetable market while his mother and father did their shopping for groceries and other household items. His mom went home at some point and left the child in her husband’s care.
By the time the boy’s father returned to fetch him, the child was nowhere to be found. However, an unidentified person who apparently witnessed the kidnapping, said he saw a strange man leaving with Bin. The witness said the alleged kidnapper had been lurking around earlier, and must have seen the unattended child.
The parents gave up their jobs and undertook a mission to find their missing toddler. They found no clues, but remained hopeful throughout the years. Sadly, Bin’s mom was in the final stages of breast cancer in 2011. Nonetheless, she continued to be hopeful from her deathbed that her son would be found. The boy’s father recalled his dying wife mouthing her abducted boy’s name repeatedly before she passed away.
“To find our son had been my wife’s biggest wish in life. And days before she passed away she was constantly murmuring our son’s name.”
Twenty-four years later, Sun shared his long-held optimism with journalists about being found. Although his adoptive family never told him that he was essentially bought from traffickers after being kidnapped, he had a hunch they were not his biological parents.
Since his mom’s death, China has been well into gear cracking down on illegal child trafficking. Prior to that, officials couldn’t be counted on to aggressively criminalize abductors of children. As a result of the country’s drive to locate missing children, Sun hatched the idea to leave a DNA sample with a local police department to help in finding his parents. Luckily, just months later, authorities got a match, and the process to reunite him with his father began.
Human trafficking is widespread in China where singles and couples pay thousands of dollars in the underground markets to obtain a male heir to continue their family name. Unfortunately, there are no hard figures or existing database that accounts for the alarming numbers of kidnapped children sold by traffickers.
However, some experts say some 20,000 to 40,000 kids are taken away illegally each year in China. This dwarfs the 50 or so children stolen in the U.K. yearly.
It’s been 24 years since his toddler son was abducted in China. Although Bin’s father is bitter at the adoptive parents for illegally accepting a child through trafficking, he is relieved his son is alive, well, and back with his true family.
[Image via: the Telegraph]