Facial recognition technology saves the day.
A man has been reunited with his family 32 years after being kidnapped as a baby at a hotel in northwest China.
Mao Yin was two when he was abducted and sold into another family, TIME reports.
He was raised with another name in different region of China.
Mao’s parents spent more than three decades searching for their son, before being reunited with him earlier this week.
Mao Zhenjing and Li Jingzhi dedicated their lives to finding their son, Li quitting her job to commit to the search full time, PEOPLE reports.
Li became a frequent feature on Chinese TV shows, where she’d plead for help.
Authorities were led by a tip-off late last month after receiving information about a boy who’d been sold to another family.
According to The Guardian, the search was supported by integrated facial recognition technology, using toddler photos to create a possible photofit of the adult Mao.
The image was compared to the images in a national database, where Mao was found.
A DNA test confirmed his identity and officials arranged the reunion, which was emotional for the whole family.
“I would like to thank the tens of thousands of people who helped us,” Li said.
“I can’t believe that after helping 29 missing children find their families, I’m able to find my own son.”
Child kidnapping has been a major problem in China for decades, with some children being exploited by criminals and others fed into a market for adoptees.
Last year more than 6 300 snatched children were reunited with their families using DNA tests.