A man who was kidnapped as a child more than 30 years ago has been reunited with his family after drawing a map of his home village from memory.
Li Jingwei was just four years old when he was abducted near his home in southwest China and sold by traffickers to a family more than 1,000 miles away.
For years he longed for his own family, but his adoptive parents and DNA databases could not provide an answer.
Inspired by two recent high-profile stories of young men reunited with their birth parents in similar circumstances, Mr. Li decided to turn to the internet for help.
On December 24, the 37-year-old posted a photo of a hand-drawn map on Douyin – China’s version of TikTok – and asked for clues as to where it might be.
The detailed sketch of the area where he grew up included features such as a small pond, a bamboo forest, and a building he believed to be a school.
In a video shared thousands of times online, Mr Li said he was looking for his home after he was taken to Henan in central China by a “bald neighbour” around 1989.
Police managed to narrow the area down to a small village near the mountainous town of Zhaotong in Yunnan province, according to the South China Morning Post.
After providing a blood sample that matched the DNA of a village woman, Mr. Li finally found his mother on New Year’s Day. Sadly, her father is no longer alive, according to the publication.
Mr Li reportedly thanked those who helped him find his family in a final message before the emotional reunion.
He wrote, “Thirty-three years of waiting, countless nights of longing and finally a hand-drawn map of memory, it’s time for the perfect release after 13 days.”