Google Maps has reunited a Chinese man kidnapped more than 23 years ago with his birth family. Luo Gang, 28, was taken close to his school at age five. According to Gawker, Luo was abandoned around the Fujian province, where he was taken in and raised by his adoptive parents in Sanming.
His only memory of the place where he was from was that it had two bridges. Armed with this sparse amount of information, Luo posted to a website dedicated to helping reunite families with their missing children. A tipster on the site responded with info about a Sichuan family, who lost their son 23 years prior, and from there, Luo used Google Maps to examine the geography.
After an extensive search, he found the two bridges, which he’d stored in his memories for close to a quarter of a century. UPI noted that the bridges were located in Sichuan’s Linshui county.
His biological parents had since adopted a daughter, but unlike with the case of Cleveland’s Michelle Knight, they’d never given up the search for their little boy. His father and mother, Huang Qingyong and Dai Jianfang, informed him that his birth name had been Huang Jun.
Dai, Luo’s mother, said she “felt heartbroken” after her son was taken. “I couldn’t eat or sleep and I cried every day thinking my son was missing and didn’t have enough food or clothes out there.”
Luo said he was “overjoyed” to be reunited with his parents after so long.
The length between time of abduction and reunion brings to mind recent events in the US when three women missing for about a decade (including Knight) escaped the house in Cleveland where they were being held prisoners.
However, this case was a little less harrowing in the sense that during the time Luo was missing, his adoptive family loved him as their own.
Still, he was always aware of his past life. “Everyday before I went to bed, I forced myself to relive the life spent in my old home … So I wouldn’t forget,” Luo told a Fujian news outlet.
And without Google Maps, the reunion would have likely never happened, at least not this soon. Awesome.