Published on 03:54 PM, April 04, 2018

China family finds lost daughter after 24-year search

After searching 24 years for a daughter they lost while tending their street stall, a couple in China were finally reunited with their child.

Wang Mingqing and his wife Liu Dengying had been tending their fruit stall by the road at Jiuyan Bridge in China's Chengdu city on January 8, 1994, when their three-year-old daughter went missing, Chinese news site reported on Tuesday (April 3).

Wang, 50, and his wife spent those years searching for their daughter Qifeng, now known as Kangying, to no avail.

They tried a variety of measures, including contacting the police, putting up missing signs along the street and searching children's shelters.

In 2015, Wang became a private-hire car driver. He put a placard in the car indicating that he was looking for his daughter.

He also kept in his vehicle a stack of namecards which he gave out, with a photo of his daughter and her personal information, hoping he would somehow find her.

The story went viral, with local news media reporting widely about it.

After a renowned police sketch artist did a sketch of what she might look like as an adult, the drawing was circulated online.

Wang's daughter, who is now 28, saw the picture and felt it resembled her.

She had been adopted and raised in Jilin province's Panshi city, about four hours away by plane.

Her new family had reportedly found her by the side of a road in Chengdu as a child.

Kangying contacted Wang and they spoke over the phone on Monday.

She then went for a DNA test, which was a 99.99 per cent match with Wang and his wife.

The Sichuan Province Public Security Department in Chengdu issued a statement confirming that Kangying's DNA matched that of Wang's and Ms Liu, Chinese news site The Cover reported.

On Tuesday, Kangying was flown to Chengdu along with her own daughter to meet her biological parents.

Amid a media scrum, Wang tearfully told her: "Dad loves you."

Kangying told the media: "The whole world told me I didn't have a mother - but I do!"

The reunion was peppered with tears and hugging.

"Thank you, thank you," Wang and his wife told the media.

"This is too moving," Liu said. "If not for the leads, she would never have found us."

The Straits Times/ Asia News Network