A woman staged a kidnapping of her four-month-old son after a DNA test proved that the father was not her husband. After one of the co-conspirators confessed a few days later, the boy was found and the four individuals involved were arrested.
The baby’s mother, surnamed Liu, 39, initially reported her child missing on May 16. The story received a lot of attention from both Chinese social media and news networks.
After one of the four co-conspirators turned themselves in, the police in Zhoukou City found the child safe and unharmed in a neighboring city.
The individuals involved in the kidnapping—the baby’s mother and biological father, an aunt and paternal grandmother—were arrested in Henan Province, China on May 19.
Liu spoke about the kidnapping scheme in a phone interview with Pear Videos, a major Chinese online media outlet.
“It’s so difficult for me to have this child,” Liu told Pear Videos. “It’s a second child, and I’m almost 40.”
The False Kidnapping
Before staging the kidnapping, Liu had already discovered that her son was not fathered by her husband. She then hatched a plan with the baby’s father and two other relatives—her own sister and the baby’s paternal grandma.
Liu sent the boy to her older sister’s house in a neighboring city.
Liu claimed to have taken her child out to a park across from her housing complex. Video footage from traffic cameras showed her pushing a stroller across the street on May 16.
When Liu entered the park, she said she fainted. Then when she awoke, she saw that her son was not in the stroller.
Liu’s husband, surnamed Zhu, said that when she passed out, no one was around to see, but that she was woken up by passersby, according to the Shenzhen Evening News.
Liu also claimed that she had fainted before, and that she suffered from low-blood potassium, also called hypokalemia, the report said.
When Liu first reported the baby missing on the same day, the news went viral on Chinese social media and news.
Family members then reported the missing child to the police, and offered a reward for the child of 100,000 yuan ($14,500). Police offered 50,000 yuan ($7,200) for tips, according to the Shenzhen Evening News.
The family members also passed out fliers with a photo of the missing boy.
Then, according to the Shenzhen Evening News, one of the four suspects involved in the kidnapping scheme decided to confess after mounting pressure and attention from social media.
On May 19, police found the boy and arrested the four people involved—Liu and her sister, the baby’s father and paternal grandmother. However, Liu has avoided detention for the moment since she is still breastfeeding the child, the report said.