CHENGDU, China – A small scar on the forehead. A habit of feeling nauseous when she cried. These are traits that a woman named Kang Ying and a child named Qifeng shared—helping to prove the two are one and the same.
The BBC reports on the 24-year search for Qifeng, who disappeared from her parents’ roadside fruit stand in Chengdu city in January 1994; she was just 3.
Wang Mingqing and wife Liu Dengying spent more than two decades searching for their girl, through newspaper ads and online posts. They remained in Chengdu, hoping it would increase the chances that Qifeng would find them, and in 2015, Wang began driving for the Uber-like Didi Chuxing and spreading the word.
His car contained information about his search, passengers were given information about his daughter, and the South China Morning Post reports he asked riders to post about his search on social media.
Then, a break, by way of a police sketch artist. The artist heard about the search and offered to create an age progression drawing showing what an adult Qifeng might look like—and, in a province far to the north, Kang Ying saw it and thought it looked a whole lot like her.
She reached out to Yang in mid-March, per Global News, and a DNA test was arranged for; it proved she was Qifeng, and the family was reunited on Tuesday.
The Morning Post reports Kang grew up 12 miles from Chengdu, with parents who told her they had adopted her.