FaceApp-style AI technology was used to reunite a Chinese man with his biological parents.
Yu Weifeng, 21, was kidnapped when he was a toddler and the cops took the help of recently trending FaceApp to find out what he might look like now.
Weifeng is a student in the provincial capital Guangzhou and his adoptive parents had given him the name Li. He went on missing since 6th May 2001 while playing near a construction site where his father worked as a foreman.
Investigators in Shenzhen’s Futian District, which is in South China’s Guangdong Province reopened the case of the boy and it took two months for the software to go through nearly 100 candidates on a database, before finding out Weifeng.
Investigator Zheng Zhenhai said: ”When we found him, he refused to believe that he was a kidnapped child, but DNA confirmed that he was a match with his biological parents.”
”We opened the case the day after the incident and we never gave up.”
”Technology was limited at the time. ‘We checked surveillance footage, but there were simply too many people coming in and out of the area.”
On Friday, July 19, 2019, Weifeng reunited with his biological parents for the first time in 18 years.
Weifeng’s dad is grateful that his son’s foster parents raised him for 18 years.
He said: ”We’re very grateful to his foster parents for raising him for 18 years.”
”From now on, his foster father will become like a brother to me; my son will have two dads.”
The official Find Madeleine Campaign website says: ”Fortunately, there are many cases of abducted children being found and returned to their families — even after long periods of time.”
”The vital piece of information that leads to a happy and longed-for reunion is usually thanks to a caring and vigilant member of the general public, often recognizing a face from a poster.”
After this case, people are now hoping that investigators can use the same innovative technology to solve Madeleine McCann’s case.
McCann has been missing since 2007 when her family was on vacation in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The girl was three-year-old that time and disappeared from the family’s rental apartment and has not been seen since.