Whenever Deng Huidong sees a little boy around 3 years of age, she can't help but wonder if he's her son. Her son, Ye Ruicong, was snatched by human traffickers more than a year ago when he was just 9 months old. "I imagine how tall he would be, how fast he could run," Huidong said. "I take photos of boys who are about the same age to see; this way I can recognize him if we ever meet one day."
Huidong believes Ruicong was sold, possibly within hours, to a family without a son looking for a male heir. Males come with a premium price tag in China. During a videotaped confession, a woman caught trafficking children two years ago told police that boys can sell for up to $1,200, girls for just more than $200.
Ruicong was gone in an instant. Recalling the abduction, Huidong said a white van slowly drove by while she was just outside her home with her daughter and son. The van stopped and reversed to the Deng household. The doors opened and a man leaned out and grabbed Ruicong. The van then sped off. "It all happened within seconds; they didn't even get out of the car."
Huidong gave chase on foot, screaming. A stranger on a motorcycle offeredto help and together they chased the van until they reached a police car. "I went in that damn police car but after a only a few seconds, they took a sudden turn down another road. I asked why but they just kept silent. I was crying and asking; they simply didn't reply. Later at the police station, I asked why and he told me he was off duty, so it was some one else's responsibility to catch the traffickers."
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