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April 26, 2013

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Tot's kidnapper couldn't carry out threat

POLICE confirmed yesterday that they arrested a man for kidnapping the 16-month-old son of his boss and threatening the boy's life because he had not been paid.

Despite the threats, police said the man didn't have the stomach for carry the crime off, and turned the boy over to police about four hours after the kidnapping, saying his conscience bothered him.

The kidnapping happened around the noon on February 4 when the boy was found missing from his bed. His parents rushed to the Jiangwan Police Station, Hongkou District.

"I saw my baby was in bed but when I finished my job and turned around, he was gone and the baby bottle and sheet were left," said the boy's father, surnamed Gong.

Gong and his family, from out of town, were running a small restaurant on Wan'an Road and lived there as well. That day, they were busy in taking care of customers at noon.

Officers tried to help the parents to recall any suspicious person that had entered their restaurant, but all they remembered were some friends and neighbors who they believed could not be the suspects.

Around 1pm, officers said they saw a suspicious figure in surveillance video of the area. According to the footage, the man left Gong's restaurant at 11:01am with something in his arms and got into a taxi at 11:18am.

Gong recognized the man as Li Renfa, a friend and supervisor in a renovation company owned by Gong, he said. The local man would go to Gong's house to drink and play cards and at times stayed overnight.

Police then found the taxi driver and confirmed the suspect was Li and the baby was Gong's son.

"Your son is with me. Transfer 300,000 yuan (US$48,579) to my account in two hours, otherwise he'll die with me," Li said in a message to gong about one and a half hours after the kidnapping. But when Gong tried to call back, the phone was off.

Around 3pm, Li lowered the demand to 200,000 yuan.

But at the mean time, officers of the Sichuan Road N. police station reported that a baby boy was sent to the station by a man who claimed he found the boy in a park. It was Gong's son. Li was caught at a hotel at 10pm.


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