A Chinese couple has been reunited with their newborn son after he was abducted from her mother’s hospital ward and sold to another family 800 miles away.
Police footage shows the mother breaking down in tears when she met her baby six days after he was stolen from her bedside in Yunnan province in southern China.
The crying woman is seen holding her child tightly and kissing him when her husband tried to console her.
The case was revealed on Sunday by the police in Yunnan.
According to a social media post, the baby was abducted on July 5 from the People’s Hospital in Yunnan’s Weixi County. He had just been born for 46 hours.
After the police were alerted, they immediately formed a team to investigate the case.
The devastated mother told the police that the child was stolen in the wee hours from her ward when she was sleeping.
She said: ‘My child had been born for just 46 hours and he was stolen. I had breastfed him at around 2am, and when I woke up at 3 o’clock, he disappeared.’
While reviewing surveillance footage, officers saw a suspicious person leaving the hospital in a hurry while carrying a baby at around 2:25am.
The police checked through the information of more than 2,000 vehicles thought to be related to the case and narrowed down their target to an unlicensed black Jeep.
After using the data from the country’s mass surveillance system, the police found out that the vehicle belonged to a man, Li.
The suspect and his car frequently appeared near the hospital before the incident, but suddenly travelled to a nearby city, called Lijiang, afterwards.
The police caught Li at a hotel in Lijiang in the wee hours of July 7. The suspect claimed to have already sold the baby to a man, known as Luo, who lives in another province more than 800 miles away.
Officers decided to drive to the buyer’s home immediately to rescue the baby.
When they arrived at the county of Ebian in Sichuan province about 48 hours later, Luo’s wife, Wang, was holding the boy in their bedroom.
Footage released by the Missing Children Alert Platform of China’s Ministry of Public Security shows police questioning Wang before taking the child away.
It is alleged that Luo and Wang had trouble conceiving. They were said to have bought the boy for 50,000 yuan (£5,574) after being introduced to Li by a relative.
The police then drove the baby back to Yunnan and arranged him to be reunited with his parents on July 11.
The baby’s father thanked police after they handed him his son.
He said: ‘If it weren’t for the help from police officers, I might not be able to meet my son again for the rest of my life.’
The suspected trafficker, Zhang, and the baby’s buyers, Luo and Wang, are under further police investigation.