Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 4 News List

‘Miracle detective’ tracks down missing son

By Lin Chia-tung, Wu Sheng-ju and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Hsu Yao-pin, director of the Keelung City Police Department’s first precinct, hikes with a dog on Aug. 25.

Photo: Wu Sheng-ju, Taipei Times

An elderly couple was reunited with a son they had lost contact with six years ago after a report in the Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times) led them to a police officer in Keelung.

The couple, surnamed Yeh (葉) and in their seventies, read a report published by the Chinese-language Liberty Times on Aug. 26 about Hsu Yao-pin (許耀彬), director of the Keelung City Police Department’s first precinct, who was described in the article as a “miracle detective.”

The two boarded a train from Kaohsiung, where they reside, to Keelung, sought out Hsu and requested his help in tracking down their son. Within just six days, Hsu found him.

In April 2013, their son left home, and they had not heard anything from him and could not determine his whereabouts, despite looking everywhere, the Yehs said.

“Every time we saw some unfortunate report in the news, we were worried sick about whether our son was affected and whether he was okay,” they said.

The two were always saddest during the holidays, which they wanted to spend with their son, they said.

After receiving their request for help, Hsu did an online search, and after finding a good deal of online activity from their son, Hsu reassured the Yehs that their son was safe and would be found.

On Sept. 4, Hsu contacted the Yehs to inform them that he had found their son.

The son said he had been working in Taichung for the past six years and had not contacted his family for “certain reasons,” but promised he would return home before the next Lunar New Year to spend the holiday with his parents, Hsu said.

Their son called the couple shortly afterward, and they called Hsu to thank him, he added.

After receiving a thank you letter from the Yehs, Hsu on Saturday said that the letter was the “best gift and best source of encouragement” he could ask for.

Hsu, who has served on the police force for 30 years, once uncovered two different drug trafficking operations within 36 hours.

Transferring to office work later in his career, Hsu opted to use his extra time to help solve cases of missing persons. His adeptness at the task has earned him recognition.

Over the past two years, Hsu has helped solve 60 missing person cases and helped to identify seven deceased people.

Not every case ends perfectly, and he once had DNA tests negate his findings in the case of an adopted girl who was searching for her birth parents, but wherever a lead exists he would continue his search until the end, he said.

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