youtube.com/South China Morning Post
Source: youtube.com/South China Morning Post

Man Kidnapped at 4 Reunites with Mom Thanks to a Map He Drew from Memory 33 Years Later

Dayna Remus
Jan 15, 2022
09:20 A.M.
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One little boy had no hope of finding his way back home. However, he managed to come upon extremely helpful strangers who assisted him. These individuals were found on none other than Douyin -- or what many may refer to as TikTok. 

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China faces a significant battle in overcoming child abductions within the country. It was estimated in 2015 that 20,000 children were kidnapped per year. 

To tackle this rising issue, the Ministry of Public Security launched a campaign at the beginning of 2021 to find these missing kids.

Li Jingwei reuniting with his family. │Source: youtube.com/South China Morning Post

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A TRAUMATIC RECOLLECTION

Shockingly, they located 8,307 of these children from January to November of that year. Tragically, Li Jingwei became a part of this endemic at only the innocent age of 4 years old during his childhood.

She never believed she would see him again.

He was lured away from his home in Lankao, Central China's Henan in 1988 province by a bald neighbor to strangers who put him on a bike. The young boy was taken away from his family forever.

Li Jingwei.│Source: youtube.com/South China Morning Post

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Eventually, he was sold to adoptive parents in Lankao, who Jingwei claimed were kind and treated him well. However, he remembered very little from his younger years before being abducted, except for one significant recollection.

The boy became obsessed with his memory of an image showing a map of his village. Jingwei made sure to draw it once a day. 

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A hand-drawn map of Li Jingwei’s village. │Source: youtube.com/South China Morning Post

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FINDING HIS WAY BACK HOME

On December 24, 2021, he shared this image on TikTok -- a decision that changed his life forever. Shortly after he shared the post, Jingwei reunited with his family 33 years after going missing. He expressed:

"I didn't expect to find my family so soon. When I saw my family on the first day of the new year, I felt like I was born again."

He claimed that he instantly recognized his mother, who stated that she never believed she would see him again. Her long-lost son immediately began crying after pulling down his mom's mask and getting a full view of her face. 

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SOCIAL MEDIA TO THE RESCUE

This meeting was all thanks to Jingwei's fellow TikTokers, who provided clues that the police followed, eventually leading them to his mom. They confirmed she was related to him via a D.N.A test. Taking to his TikTok profile, he wrote

"This is the moment of perfect release after 13 days. Thank you, everyone, who has helped me reunite with my family. [sic]"

For all its vices, social media can also serve beautiful purposes. It can unify us on a global scale and a smaller scale, bringing families together and healing broken hearts.

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