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Chinese man abducted as a five-year-old is reunited with his parents 23 years later after using GOOGLE MAPS to find his way home - May 20, 2013












Reunited: Luo Gang is seen on Chinese news blog being reunited with his birth parents after tracking down his home town with the help of Google maps

  • Luo Gang was abducted from small town in Sichuan at age of five
  • Brought up by loving adoptive parents 1,500km away in Fujian
  • Luo was haunted by childhood memories of his distant birthplace
  • Learned of a couple in Guangan city who lost son at time he was abducted
  • Google Map of area revealed two bridges he remembered from years ago

A Chinese man has been reunited with his biological family more than 20 years after he was abducted as a little boy - and claims he has Google Maps to thank for finding his way home.

Luo Gang, who was born in a small town in Sichuan province, but grew up some 1,500km away in Fujian province after being snatched on his way to kindergarten at the age of five.

Now, 23 years on, Luo has been returned to his birthplace after using satellite maps to identify the distant hometown he has been searching for all his adult life.

Luo said that, while his adopted family loved him, he was haunted by childhood memories of his hometown.

'Everyday before I went to bed, I forced myself to re-live the life spent in my old home. So I wouldn't forget,' he said in a report in the South China Morning Post.

Luo's stand-out recollection of the town where he was born was of two bridges.

After deciding to go in search of where he came from, Luo posted sketched a rough map of his hometown from memory and posted it on a Chinese website set up to help locate missing children.

He was contacted by a user who told him about a couple from a small town in Guangan city, Sichuan province, who had lost a son at the exact time Luo was abducted.

The area looked familiar when Luo looked for pictures online, and his suspicions were confirmed when he searched it on Google Maps.

After zooming in on satellite images of an area called Yaojiaba, an overcome Luo spotted the two bridges he remembered.

After an emotional reunion, his biological mother said: 'In the past years, I couldn't help crying each time I thought about my son.'

It is not known whether Luo's adoptive family will face criminal charges.

Google's office in Hong Kong declined to comment, the report said.

Clues: Luo managed to identify his home town with the help of Google's satellite maps
Clues: Luo managed to identify his home town with the help of Google's satellite maps

By Kerry Mcdermott


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