Young girl reunited with father after being kidnapped nine years ago

Her father spent the last decade travelling around China in search of his daughter

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The Independent Online

A young girl who was kidnapped on her way home from school in China has been reunited with her father - nine years after she was abducted.

Cheng Ying was six years old in 2005 when she was taken by traffickers in Xi'an City, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

When her father arrived at the school an hour later, he could not find his daughter, so he gathered all his relatives together to go out and look for her. On the second day, he called the police.

Cheng Zhu spent the next decade travelling the country in search for his daughter, frequently uploading photos of her on the internet in an attempt to trigger people's memories and keep them on the lookout.

In 2007, a stranger called him and said a flower seller in Shenzhen City in southern China could be his daughter. He travelled immediately to the city: "I had to drive for two days without sleep. However, I couldn't even connect with the stranger after I arrived at Shenzhen," Cheng said.

Come 2008, Cheng also began helping the families of other abducted children, collecting information and images and displaying them on his mini-van. He says he drove his van across 200,000 kilometres and spent about 400,000 (£42,500) yuan looking for his child.


His daughter, who is now 15, said she was kidnapped by a woman and taken to Yanchang County in Shaanxi Province, and then was resold to a couple in central China's Henan Province.

She said that she went online and asked anyone whether they knew where Dabaiyang Street was and that a woman on the internet promised to help her.

"I think she can feel for me as she is a mother, so I told her my story. She found out files about my father looking for me, saying she might have found out my parents," said Cheng Ying.

The woman eventually reconnected Cheng with her father on January 5 in Chengdu. He waited for the DNA confirmation for eight days.

"The eight days were even harder for me than the past decade. I was so close to my child within 10 meters, but I just couldn't give her a hug," he said.

With the DNA test confirming the girl was his daughter, police seized six suspects involved in the child-trafficking.

Cheng Zhu brought his daughter back home in Xi'an City on January 10.