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Abducted boy, 12, makes it back home
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-18 00:00

Liu Chunyan never thought he would see his 12-year-old son so soon after the boy was abducted early this month and went missing for eight days.

The simple farmer from Northwest China's Shaanxi Province was overwhelmed when he heard of how the brave child had fled on his own and travelled a few thousand kilometres on a train to Beijing -- where he bumped into police.

Monday, Liu took his son back home.

Zhang Jun, a Beijing police officer who helped the boy locate his family, said he encountered the little Liu Hao -- a school student from a small village of Shaanxi -- near a police station at Tian'anmen Square on Friday.

"The first thing he told me was that he was thirsty," recalled Zhang, who has been an officer for more than a decade.

"I figured that he wasn't a local hoodlum or a professional beggar due to his new but disheveled clothes and his keen eyes that were full of mistrust."

After showing his police ID to the exhausted boy, Liu Hao recounted his traumatic experience.

In the afternoon of May 7, he was picking wild herbs alone in a mountain not far from his house, as usual, when a middle-aged man appeared.

The man, who spoke with a local accent, lulled the child into a van by saying he would take Liu to another place which was abundant with herbs. But he took Liu to the Yulin Railway Station in Shaanxi Province.

Once on the train, a shocked Liu overheard that he had been kidnapped and sold to another person for 8,000 yuan (US$970).

Two days later, Liu and his kidnapper arrived at the home of a well-off family, possibly in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province -- as Liu could only remember that a local hotel had Heilongjiang in its name.

All the time he had been thinking of escaping, and his opportunity arose the following day.

Although in the house, he managed to unlock a door by stealing a key, and left when no one was around.

He made his way back to the local railway station, and crawled into a luggage carriage. Liu stayed there for a couple of days without food or water, until the train reached Beijing.

Thanks to Liu remembering his aunt's phone number, Zhang was able to contact his father, who jumped on the first train to Beijing to take him home.

Police are still trying to locate the kidnapper and family.

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