Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Boy, 6, lost in Mexico City market 30 years ago reunited with his family

Thirty years after Adán Tolentino went missing from a Mexico City market he has been reunited with his family.

In 1990 the six-year-old Tolentino accompanied his father to work at the Central de Abasto, a food warehouse and distribution center that is the largest of its kind in the world and sees some 300,000 customers each day.

As father and son walked through the aisles of the market, Tolentino let go of his father’s hand and quickly became lost among the crowds. 

For a while, the boy survived by selling chewing gum on the streets of the capital city but was soon taken in by a family from Poza Rica, Veracruz, who fed and clothed him and made sure he finished school. Eventually, Tolentino married and moved to Lolotla, Hidalgo, where his wife encouraged him to search for the family he had lost all those years ago.

“For several years, my wife told me to go find them,” Tolentino says, so he reached out to the state of México’s Missing Persons Commission on June 10 and sent in the required paperwork in order to allow the government organization to aid him in his search, following up with a phone call to provide further details. 

Tolentino, left, meets his family after 30 years.
Tolentino, left, meets his family after 30 years.

The commission combed through an extensive database containing more than 10,000 possible matches, cross-referencing entries with information Tolentino had provided, and within a few days they called Tolentino to tell him that they had found his original family. 

“I started crying, I was very grateful. I felt … that I was born again. It is a great joy. I really felt that something was missing,” Tolentino said. “I think joy came back.”

The sentiment was shared by Tolentino’s family, who could scarcely believe that after 30 years they would be reunited.

“They sent a message to one of my sisters, and they said they found my brother and asked if we could identify the photo they had sent …” said Lucia, one of Tolentino’s sisters, who recognized him in the photo and immediately began crying tears of gratitude. 

Tolentino and his family met at the offices of the Missing Persons Commission in Toluca and shared warm embraces. 

“We are very grateful to everyone because, thanks to you, we found the person we were missing, and the truth is we missed him a lot. Now that he is with us, we say thank you to all of you for helping my brother find us,” Lucia said.

Source: Nación 321 (sp)

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