Behind every single family, there is a nightmare.
On January 4, 2005, Shen Cong, the under-year-old son of Shen Junliang, was robbed in a rented house in Guangzhou. He resigned from his position as a corporate executive and embarked on a vast road to find a child. In the past 15 years, he has traveled the streets and alleys, posted more than 1 million missing persons notices, and spent more than 1.5 million yuan to go from flourishing to full of wind and frost.
On the evening of March 7, 2020, with the help of the police, Shen Junliang and his wife finally recovered their son who had been thinking about it day and night. A toddler who used to be a toddler has grown into a 16-year-old boy. At the moment of meeting, Shen Junliang burst into tears…
I want to get my son back
The land of the Central Plains in March was warm and cold.
“Dad, hurry up!” 16-year-old Shen Cong stopped and turned around with a smile. “Heh… Dad can’t keep up with you.” After a 3 km jog, Shen Junliang panted badly, and gradually fell behind. But this “dad” sound like a booster, instantly filled Shen Junliang with strength, and he opened his legs and ran towards his son. Shen Cong slowed down intimately, and the father and son ran slowly side by side. The 16-year-old Shen Cong is already taller than his father. In the morning light, the beads of sweat in the boy’s hair shine brightly. Looking at his son beside him, Shen Junliang felt a trance. He seemed to see the chubby child 15 years ago, open his arms, and staggered towards him.
After Guangdong confessed, Shen Junliang took his son back to his hometown in Henan, where he spent just a few days together. The blood thicker than water family affection seemed to make up for the time gap. Shen Junliang’s heart was always surging with the happiness of being in the clouds. He could not wait for Xiang Quan. The world declared: “I am Shen Junliang, Shen Cong’s father. My son has been found!”
Before the age of 28, Shen Junliang was the patron of fate. After graduating from high school, he came to work in Zengcheng, Guangzhou from his hometown in Zhoukou, Henan. Because of his willingness to endure hardship and his flexible mind, he stood out from a group of wage earners and became the youngest executive of a large electronic toy company.
In November 2004, Shen Junliang took his wife and children from his hometown. He was full of ambition, thinking about saving more money, so he bought a house and took root in the city. The time with wives and children is particularly good. How did the couple immersed in happiness know that their son has been targeted.
On January 4, 2005, Shen Junliang will never forget this day. At around 10 o’clock in the morning, Shen Junliang, who had just stepped out of the conference room, suddenly rang his cell phone. It was from his wife Yu Xiaoli. Her voice was hoarse and stern: “Hurry back, Shen Cong was snatched away!” Shen Junliang’s mobile phone slipped down in an instant, and the documents were scattered all over the place.
It turned out that that morning, Yu Xiaoli was preparing lunch in the kitchen as usual. The door suddenly opened and a man rushed in, sealed her mouth with scotch tape, and tied her hands. Ten minutes later, Yu Xiaoli finally broke free of the rope in her hand, only to find that Shen Cong had disappeared. The police investigation found that neighbors Zhou Rongping and his wife had major suspicions, but at this moment they had already escaped without a trace.
The child was robbed! The whole family couldn’t accept this fact. Grandparents shed tears all night and fell ill one after another. Yu Xiaoli was so stimulated that she suffered from schizophrenia, and said Xiao Cong’s name every day.
A few days later, Shen Junliang resigned, and since then embarked on a long journey. After finding out that Zhou Rongping might have gone to Zhuhai, he rushed over immediately. The city is too big to find. Shen Junliang took out his mobile phone and turned around in a circle, wherever the compass in the mobile phone pointed, he would go in which direction. He carried a plastic bag with a thick stack of missing persons notices and a bottle of glue, and posted flyers along the streets. When I am hungry, I casually eat instant noodles and doze in the corner when I am sleepy.
A few days later, Shen Junliang, who was alone and in a trance, attracted the attention of the gangster. Several people took him to the corner with knives. When the other party asked to take the phone, Shen Junliang pleaded bitterly: “This is for my son. All the information is in it.” But in the end, the phone was still taken away. The only 600 yuan was also searched.
Since then, Shen Junliang has been suffering from insomnia. He is most afraid of going into the night. The whole city is enveloped by the dark night, and everything is silent. Only the waves in the darkness repeatedly surging tirelessly, with no end in sight.
Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongguan… For 4 years, he has been searching street by street. To this end, he sold his house and car, and owed more than 100,000 yuan in foreign debt. However, hundreds of thousands of “missing persons notices” were sent out, like a stone sinking into the sea. At the end of 2008, Shen Junliang returned to his hometown full of disappointment. As soon as I entered the door, I raised my eyes and saw the photo of Shen Cong in the middle of the hall. All his strength was broken into pieces, and he collapsed to the ground…
Only on the road, I feel worthy of the child
The two sons of the family were born one after another. In order to make a living, in early 2009, the Shen Junliang family defected to his cousin who opened a furniture factory in Jinan. He helped the furniture factory load and deliver goods, free time, and did not delay finding children. Since Shen Junliang was thinking about children, he accidentally fell off a truck more than 3 meters high when unloading a cargo.
In order to find more clues, Shen Junliang advertised “A reward of 100,000 to find Shen Cong”. There were more clues, and the liar came. One person said to know the whereabouts of Shen Cong, the premise is to pay 2,000 yuan first. Shen Junliang trot all the way, found an agricultural bank 3 kilometers away, sent the money there, and then drove to Chengdu by car. After the train arrived at the station, the other party could not be contacted. Shen Junliang didn’t give up, he just waited for a day or two nights… Someone asked Shen Junliang: “Is it worth looking for it like this?” Shen Junliang also hesitated, in order to find his son. The house was hollowed out, and there was no table to eat, and a few wooden boards on the bricks were the bed. After the wife got better, she took a job cleaning and barely made a living. Over the years, they have maintained a silent understanding. He never talked about the hardships of finding her son; no matter how difficult the family is, she will carry it all. The protagonist of the movie “Orphans” once said, “Only when I am on the road will I feel worthy of the child. No matter where he is, I hope he knows that his father is looking for him.”
At the end of 2017, Shen Junliang was busy sorting out information. When he looked up, the sky was already dark. He suddenly realized that he was at home in Jinan. His wife hadn’t got off work yet. What about the children? He rushed out of the house, and not far away, two silhouettes stretched by street lights came towards each other. The child’s thin body was pressed by the schoolbag and walked staggeringly. After school did not wait for their parents to pick them up, the two children walked for more than an hour for more than 3 kilometers… Shen Junliang’s eyes were moist, and he asked himself, do you want to stop and go to work first? But when he thinks of Shen Cong, he can’t let go.
There are also elderly parents who can’t let go. At the end of October 2017, his mother had a stomach perforation and was sent to the hospital for rescue. He rushed back from Guangzhou and went back after only taking care of his mother for 3 days. He had to leave. The next day was the day when Zhang Weiping’s child abduction case was opened. He wanted to find out the whereabouts of Shen Cong from the traffickers.
In the summer of 2019, Shen Junliang returned to his hometown in Henan once, with the door locked. Waiting until the sun went down, the two old men came back from the outside with their tired bodies. Mother was holding a few plastic bottles in his hand, and the old father was dragging his hoe, soaking his body with sweat. It turned out that they had dug a trench for someone. Before leaving, his father handed him a few hundred yuan, “You can rest assured to find a child, and your mother and I will keep the house for you.” On the way out of the village, Shen Junliang didn’t dare to look back, he gritted his teeth and said to himself: “Shen Junliang, you can’t stop. It’s the hope of the whole family that you walk on the road!”
Shen Junliang did not give up, and the police have been working hard. In March 2016, the five gangs of Zhou Rongping and Zhang Weiping who abducted 9 children including Shen Cong were arrested one after another. Hearing this news, Shen Junliang was overjoyed, and immediately bought a bed, quilt, school bag and a lot of school supplies, waiting to welcome the child. However, the clue is broken again here. It was not until June 2017 that Zhang Weiping confessed that after snatching Shen Cong, he and the other seven children were sold to Zijin County by “Aunt Mei”. Shen Junliang set off again and went to all primary and secondary schools and vocational schools in Zijin County. There are more visits, and many children come to help, “Uncle, we will send you a’missing notice.” This makes Shen Junliang feel particularly warm.
After years of searching for children, Shen Junliang worked out a set of procedures. When clues are collected, he will continue to make unannounced visits, and even go to nearby places to record the child’s age, gender, appearance, address, family situation and other information, and organize it and submit it to the police for identification and DNA comparison. In Zijin County alone, he found more than 50 children suspected of being trafficked.
Once, someone gave Shen Junliang a clue, “Your son lives next door to my house, come on.” The child’s information exactly matches Shen Cong. On the day of receiving the news, Shen Junliang rushed over. He rented a car and guarded it at the door of the child’s house, and observed it under the high temperature of 40℃ for several days. He secretly took a profile photo of the child with his mobile phone, and the more he looked at it, the more he felt like Shen Cong. But at the last minute, the police informed him that the DNA comparison was unsuccessful. “It feels like being thrown high in the sky, and then falling all the time, falling into the boundless darkness.” Wanjian penetrated his heart, but so.
Hope and despair are intertwined, may there be no abductions in the world
Hope and despair are intertwined, and Shen Junliang knows better than anyone how hard this road is. In October 2008, A Jiang, the father of Yang Jiaxin, a child abducted by Zhang Weiping, committed suicide on the way to find his son. Nine years later, the police found Yang Jiaxin, but A Jiang was unable to wait for the child’s “Dad” in the end. Shen Junliang told himself that in any case, he must be alive and wait for Shen Cong to return home. When he couldn’t keep going, he called and chatted with the volunteers of the “Baby Go Home” charity organization for a while, and he felt better. It was the darkest moment before dawn, and Shen Junliang survived.
On the way to find children, Shen Junliang got to know many families looking for children. On New Year’s Day in 2018, he and several other parents of kidnapped children came to Zijin County. Several people were sitting in a small hotel, drinking some loose wine they bought, and cheering each other up. That day, Shen Junliang drank more than a pound of white wine and was not drunk. A few days later, some parents had to leave due to financial reasons, and Shen Junliang printed the information of several children together to help them find it. In November 2019, the two children abducted by “Aunt Mei” were found. That day, Shen Junliang was so excited that he stayed up all night and walked 30,000 steps around the community. He felt that Shen Cong was not far from him.
On January 18, 2020, Shen Junliang suddenly received a call from Jinan police, and his son’s information was matched. Putting down the phone, Shen Junliang was trembling with excitement. He rushed into the room prepared for Shen Cong, turned around several times, and then slapped the mattress with his hands, once, again…
This Spring Festival, the Shen Junliang’s family was very worried. He couldn’t wait to see his son, and he was afraid that rash recognition would hurt his son. On March 5, 2020, Shen Junliang, his wife and brother drove south.
Thousands of words, like a knuckle in the throat. Seeing his son, Shen Junliang couldn’t say a word. His wife cried and asked Shen Cong: “Son, do you know that your father has been looking for you.” At that moment, Shen Junliang turned his head and burst into tears.
The 16-year-old Shen Cong was sunny and sensible. Even the police were surprised. He had been abducted for many years. It was the first time he encountered such a sensible child. Coupled with the guidance of psychologists, Shen Cong quickly accepted the fact that he was abducted. He held Shen Junliang and said, “Dad, you let me know how to persevere. I will work hard and live up to those who love me!”
On the way back, Shen Junliang, who had been sleepless for dozens of hours, took a nap in the rest area. When he woke up, wearing his son’s coat, Shen Junliang was very pleased looking at his son who was shaking with cold. Back home, Shen Cong hugged her two younger brothers tightly.
Every day I spend with my son is happy, and the father and son have endless topics to talk about. Shen Junliang bought all kinds of breakfast, but Shen Cong couldn’t finish it, so he ate his son’s leftovers. “My son’s leftovers are delicious.” His wife laughed and teased him as a “child slave.” He found that his wife hadn’t smiled so sweetly for a long time.
On March 24, Shen Cong transferred to a local public school. Facing the new life that is about to start, he said: “I must persevere, like my father.” Shen Junliang is full of confidence in the future. He intends to find a job, start from scratch, and bring the two old people around, so that the family will be together and reunite.
Shen Junliang spent 15 years on the bloody and tearful path of finding a son. He told us with a persistent paternal love that love and persistence can create miracles. In the face of this father who has experienced a long period of suffering, it is difficult for us to say the word “lucky” because no matter how warm the reunion is, it is too late and too late.
According to the public welfare search website “Baby Go Home”, the probability of a kidnapped child being retrieved is less than 0.1%. Only hope that there is no abduction in the world, and hope that the light of hope will illuminate every child’s way home.