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Man reunites with family with Google Maps

By Sun Li and Hu Meidong  (

12:49, May 23, 2013

Luo Gang no longer wakes up crying after a dream about a little boy in a red embroidered sweater, with an image of a swan, being taken by strangers. That dream haunted him for more than two decades.

The child in Luo’s dream is Luo, who was abducted at the age of 5 from his hometown to Sanming, Fujian province.

But he found his way home with the help of a good memory and modern technology, specifically Google Maps.

The 28-year-old had been living with his “adoptive grandparents” after his “foster parents” died when he was seven.

Although the “grandparents” treated him well, Luo said the desire to find his birth family and his hometown became increasingly strong as he got older.

Over the years, hometown scenes of roads, rivers and rice paddies kept flashing into his mind, Luo said, adding he forced himself to think of every picture he remembered since the age of 10 in case they faded from memory.

The thing that Luo remembered most clearly was a set of two arch bridges because he often played games with friends there and once he fell from a bridge and injured his back.

Last October, after a friend showed him the website, a news portal aimed at reuniting families with missing children, Luo posted a roughly-drawn map that contained every landmark he remembered about his hometown, especially the two bridges.

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