A former nanny in China recently confessed to abducting a boy from her employers in Chongqing and raising him as her own son for the past 26 years. He Xiaoping, 48, from Nanchong, in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, confessed the kidnapping to local authorities, last August. Police have been investigating her story ever since, but are unable to open a criminal case based solely on her claim.
Xiaoping claims that after giving birth to two children and losing both in their infancy, she approached elders in her village for advice. They told her that the only way for her to have a child of her own, would be to raise one from another family. In 1992, Xiaoping went to the city of Chongqing with a fake ID card and found a job as a nanny for a 1-year-old boy. She claims that after working for three days, she took the boy back to Nanchong with her. She named the boy Liu Jinxin after her second son.
The boy is now 27-years-old, but during all the years he’s been with Xiaoping, no one has ever come looking for him. In 1995, after the birth of her daughter, Xiaoping thought about returning the boy to his family, but she feared imprisonment. She kept him and raised him as her son instead.
“I know I have done bad things,” said He in an interview with Chongqing Evening News. “But I have always treated him as my own son, and he has treated me as his real mom.”
Xiaoping said that she was finally inspired her to confess her crime by a TV documentary showcasing an old woman who had spent the past fifty years searching for her lost son. The show moved Xiaoping so much that she told her son the truth and turned herself in to the police.
The woman told reporters that although her son isn’t convinced that she is telling the truth, but he has left Nanchong shortly after hearing her confession and started working in Guangzhou. “I never thought she was not my mom as she was so good to me,” Liu said. “I don’t really care if they can find my biological parents or not.”
Police have entered Liu’s information into China’s database of missing people, but as of yet, there are no matches. Oddly, there are also no police records of a missing boy in Chongqing from 1992. Xiaoping said she will continue to search for Liu’s biological family regardless and has accepted that she will serve jail time when she locates them.
Huang Ziqiang, a lawyer from Chongqing Exceedon and Partners Law Firm, said that if the case is real, Xiaoping could face a sentence of up to five years in jail according to the 1979 criminal law. However, the time limit for such charges is five years, and she would probably not be sent to jail even if she is convicted.
“How can I redeem myself then? Confess to the Buddha?” Xiaoping asked.
The story recent went viral in China thanks to Xiaoping contacting Chongqing Evening News in an attempt to spread the word about her search for Liu’s biological family. The paper published her story last week, and sparked a heated debate on Chinese social media, with many calling for her to serve jail time whether or not she or the police locate the bio-family. Liu, however, does not want to see her imprisoned as he considers her his real mom either way.