After 24 years, the Chinese parents who never gave up the search for their missing daughter were finally reunited with her in an emotional story that has captured the world’s hearts.
The family’s despair and long search began in 1994 when Wang Mingqing and his wife Liu Dengying were working as fruit vendors in the city of Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province, when their three-year-old daughter Qifeng vanished.
They had turned their attention to finding change for customer and when they returned Qifeng had disappeared.
The worried couple did everything to find her. They canvassed the neighborhood, put ads in local papers and worked with police to find her. But There was no sign of her. Wang believed Qifeng might have fallen into the hands of human traffickers but he and his wife refused to abandon her.
Year after year, they continued to search. They refused to move away from Chengdu in hopes of finding her, according to Chinese media outlets. Wang took a job as a taxi driver in 2015 so he could continue to search, handing out cards with details of his daughter to every passenger (more than 17,000 customers).
Eventually, his story was shared online and went viral. Last year, a police sketch artist in another province saw the story and drew two sketches of what Qifeng might look like as an adult.
The sketches were seen online by a woman named Kang Ying, who lived on the other side of the country. She thought she looked an awful lot like the pictures, and she had grown up in a village not far from Chengdu. Her adoptive parents had said she had been found on the street.
She reached out to Wang and the two took a DNA test that confirmed that she was Qifeng! Two days later, Kang Ying/Qifeng, her husband, and her two children flew to Chengdu to reunite with her parents. Photos and video of the reunion show the family tearfully hug as media surround them.
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) April 3, 2018
Wang later thanked the public for their help in locating his missing daughter.
“My efforts of 24 years were not wasted! My daughter has been found – thank you everyone,” he wrote.
What a truly amazing reunion. You can watch more of this story in the video below.