A trip to the mall inevitably includes a chance encounter with an acquaintance – whether it be a friend of your mom’s, your old high school teacher, or a local celebrity, and the vast majority of the time these meetings are dreaded.

But for one Chinese father, a spontaneous trip to the mall reunited him with his six-year-old son, who’d been kidnapped nine months earlier.

Chen Zhonghong was left feeling utterly hopeless last year when his son, Cheng Jiafu, was abducted by strangers. Six-year-old Jiafu was taken from his home in Matang Village in China’s Guangdong province just two hours after his father had left for work.

For nine months Chen, wracked with guilt, searched for his son. He hoped they’d be reunited, but as the weeks blended into months, he began to believe he’d never see him again. Despite his hopeless searches, it was sheer chance that would eventually help Chen find his son.

Jiafu had been taken by child traffickers who hoped to make a profit from selling the tiny tot. In 2015, it was reported that 200,000 boys and girls were abducted and sold online in China – the majority of whom were sold into child labor, the sex trade, and organ farms.