Boy Abducted 14 Years Ago May Be Found in China

A Chinese couple whose son was abducted 14 years ago may have reached closure after police said they would soon reunite with the boy.

Authorities in China said Saturday that a police investigation revealed that the boy was likely still in China and had been missing since July 12, 2003, the New York Times reported. The boy, who has been named Zuo Yanmin, was last seen in Zhoushan, in Zhejiang province, where he had been sent to live by a government-funded group after he was taken from his parents, the paper reported.

Zuo Yanmin was an infant when he was snatched from his parents and mother said she was severely beaten and left in a stairwell. The head of a government-funded organization said he forced the mother to leave with the baby and expressed no remorse, according to the Times. Zuo Yanmin was later reportedly reunited with a woman he had met in a shelter.

The story inspired Hollywood to make “Three Christs,” a film starring John Cusack and Eddie Izzard about a real-life abduction case in Oregon. The film was produced by Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and Fox, and released in February 2017, according to CNet.

U.S. State Department officials said Friday that the boy’s parents had not requested consular help, and the Hollywood film may have been a factor in the investigation.

“We hope the reunion between the family and child … occurs as soon as possible,” a State Department official said, according to the Times.

A reporter from the state-run China Daily newspaper visited the boy in Zhoushan and was allowed to photograph him with his mother.

In a video posted online, Zuo Yanmin had told the reporter that he had missed the weather in the U.S. and his mother, according to the Times.

Zuo Yanmin is now 13.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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