Changchun police have launched a city-wide hunt for a two-month-old baby left in a car which disappeared Monday morning.
More than 8,000 police officers, as well as a large number of private car owners and cab drivers searched the city of Changchun and nearby villages for the missing child. Neighboring provinces have been aiding municipal police in the search as well.
“We have stepped up surveillance at major checkpoints across the city, and are stopping and checking every suspicious vehicle,” said Zheng Kexin, head of the publicity department at the municipal public security bureau.
According to the father of the missing child, a man surnamed Xu, his gray Toyota RAV4 SUV was stolen around 7:00 on Monday morning in Changchun, the capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province.
Xu parked the vehicle in front of his own grocery store, leaving his two-month-old baby in the back seat without shutting off the car’s engine. Xu came out minutes later to find that his car had been stolen with the baby still inside. He called the police immediately.
“We won’t file charges against you if you just stop the car and ensure the safety of my child,” Xu and his relatives implored via a local traffic radio broadcast.
“My nephew is still so young,” said Deng Ying, aunt of the missing baby. “I hope he’s still alive and healthy. This is the biggest wish of the family.”
On Tuesday morning, the stolen car was found near a primary school in Yongfa Township in the city of Gongzhuling. The license plate of the car and the clothing of the baby were found in a ditch beside a road, 500 meters away from the abandoned car.
However, the baby was not in the car, local police said.
A security guard at the school filed a report with local police, saying a man in his 30s, about 1.8 meters tall, had parked the car there late Monday, saying that the car belonged to a friend. The man said he would return later that night to retrieve the car, but did not appear again.
A taxi driver surnamed Liu said he and dozens of his colleagues have been looking for the child since hearing about the disappearance on Monday morning.
According to Jilin Province police authorities in northeast China, suspect Zhou Xijun surrendered on Tuesday afternoon.Zhou Xijun said he discovered the baby in the backseat when he was fleeing in the Toyota RAV4. He choked the baby and buried him in the snow near the city of Gongzhuling.
Celebrities including the Chinese actress Yao Chen have shown support for the search effort as well, encouraging more people to look for the child via their online microblogs.
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