DNA has proven to be a formidable tool in solving complex human mysteries, particularly in reuniting separated families. This article presents three intriguing DNA detective stories that highlight  the transformative power of DNA in uncovering hidden truths.

1. The Case of Guo Xinzhen in China

In 1997, in Shandong, China, Guo Xinzhen, a two-year-old boy, was abducted by human traffickers. His father, Guo Gangtang, embarked on a relentless search for his son, traveling over 300,000 miles across the country for 24 years.

This emotional saga caught national attention and inspired a movie in 2015 titled “Lost and Love”, featuring Hong Kong actor Andy Lau. The story reflected the ongoing issue of child abduction in China and the growing role of technology and bioscience in reuniting families.

In a significant breakthrough, Chinese authorities identified Xinzhen through DNA testing and arrested two suspects involved in his abduction. Xinzhen, who had been sold to a family in Henan province, was informed by the police of his father’s long search.

Guo expressed relief and happiness at the reunion and acknowledged the couple who raised Xinzhen as relatives.

Source: The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/13/man-in-china-reunited-with-son-abducted-24-years-ago

2. The Story of Vera and Rosemarie

In 1954, at just 14 years old, Rosemarie Helga Doederlein vanished in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, shortly after migrating from Germany with her family. Despite extensive police efforts and her family’s constant search, her whereabouts remained unknown for decades.

Years later, a combination of detective work, social media campaigns, and DNA testing revealed that Rosemarie had resurfaced in Ontario in 1957. She married at 16, had a family, and led a full life until her passing in 2009 at the age of 69. However, this discovery unveiled a complex picture of Rosemarie, who had assumed false identities and provided misleading information about her past.

Her sister Vera, now residing in California, and Vera’s daughter, Christa, initiated a “last-ditch effort” to uncover Rosemarie’s fate. Toronto Police Detective Constable Michael Kelly played a crucial role in tracing her life in Ontario, revealing that she had five sons, remarried, and operated a bed-and-breakfast in British Columbia.

DNA testing was pivotal in solving the case, linking Vera to a relative in Toronto, which eventually led to the confirmation of Rosemarie’s descendants. Despite these findings, many questions about Rosemarie’s reasons for leaving and her life choices remain unanswered, including why she never reconnected with her birth family.

Source: The Gazette https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/the-fate-of-rosemarie-doederlein-who-vanished-in-1954-is-at-last-known

3. The baby abandoned in a phone box

Chris Mason, discovered as a baby in a Lambeth phone box in 1966, finally uncovered the truth about his abandonment through “Long Lost Family.” His Irish mother, Elizabeth, had a troubled marriage and an affair with an Italian cook, resulting in Chris’s birth.

Facing rejection from her husband and lack of family support, Elizabeth, desperate and homeless, left Chris in the phone box, hoping for a better life for him. Chris later connected with his half-siblings and learned about his still-living Italian father. This emotional discovery highlighted the complex circumstances leading to his abandonment and his mother’s difficult choices.

Source: Entertainment Daily https://www.entertainmentdaily.com/tv/chris-mason-long-lost-family-abandoned-telephone-box-breaks-finally-discovers-why-his-mum-left/

Image Source:

  • Photo by mari lezhava: instant images