A deaf man who was abducted by human traffickers in 1993 has been reunited with his family in China.
Yu Zhongliang, 39, knelt in front of his elderly father as the pair met for the first time on March 19 after having been separated for 25 years.
As the father and son broke down in tears, Mr Yu’s two sisters helped comfort the emotional men in their hometown of Hangzhou.
Yu Zhongliang (right), who was abducted aged 14, meets his long-lost family after 25 years
He holds his father’s hand while his elder sister communicates with him in sign language
According to a report on China News, Mr Yu was separated with his family in 1993 during a trip to Shanghai with his mother. He got lost at a train station and then was abducted by two deaf people.
He was forced to steal clothes for the human traffickers and got beaten up when he refused.
The then 14-year-old boy escaped a few days after being abducted. He spent 10 years living on the streets of Yichang in central China before travelling to Xi’an. He learnt sign language during his stay in a local community centre in Xi’an.
In Xi’an, he made a living by polishing shoes for people on the street as well as recycling rubbish. He earned roughly four yuan (45p) a day from the business.
It’s said that Mr Yu lived a life like this for 15 years
Yu Zhongliang (middle), 39, kneels on the floor as his sister introduces him to their father
Yu remembered there were water chestnuts in the fields of his hometown in Hangzhou
During the 25 years, Mr Yu always wanted to find his family.
It’s reported that he knew his home city is Hangzhou, but couldn’t remember the name of the village he is from. However, he recalled that there were water chestnuts growing in the fields in his home village.
In March, he decided to visit a major newspaper in Hangzhou after having returned to the city from Xi’an.
He had heard that the Hangzhou Metropolis Daily runs a section that helps families connect with their missing members. On March 13, Mr Yu went to the newspaper for help.
After investigation, the newspaper narrowed down Mr Yu’s home village to a village in Jiaxing known for its water chestnuts.
At the same time, Hangzhou Metropolis Daily shared Mr Yu’s story with different news channels to help the man find his family.
On March 17, Mr Yu’s sister reached out to the police after reading about the news. The woman claimed that her brother went missing 25 years ago.
The police carried a DNA test between Mr Yu and his family parents. The result confirmed that Mr Yu is their child.
With the help of the Chinese media and the local policemen, Yu was brought to his family in Yangzhuang village on March 19.
Mr Yu’s parents are delighted to see their son again after he went missing at a train station
The family welcomed Mr Yu with a big feast after the man returned home after 25 years
Apparently, Mr Yu had difficulties remembering who’s who in the family after the long separation.
Mobile phone footage shows Mr Yu’s sister Yu Yuhua, who is also deaf, telling him in sign language that she is the elder sister.
She then introduced an elderly man wearing a blue jacket to Mr Yu. She said: ‘This is father.’
The family were overcome by emotion and everyone burst into tears. Mr Yu knelt in front of his father to pay his respect.
They walked back home where Mr Yu’s injured mother was desperately waiting.
Mr Yu and his family thanked the media and the policemen for the effort in helping them find each other.