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Family finds missing senior on TikTok

By Thuy Quynh   July 2, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
TikTok has helped a teenage girl find her 76-year-old grandfather who had been missing for three months.

The girl, identified only by her handle, Linh, happened to see him on a TikTok video uploaded by professional emcee Vo Huynh Tan Tai.

The family in the southern Dong Nai Province's Trang Bom Province had been searching in vain for the man all over Dong Nai and even the neighboring province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

On June 25, while watching one of Tai's TikTok videos, Linh noticed an old, unkempt man in dirty clothes picking up scraps of food from the road to eat and realized it was her grandfather.

But the location was not mentioned.

She immediately wrote below the line: "The person in the clip is my grandfather who has been missing for a few months. Please give me the address of this place so I can find him."

Image of a 76-year-old man who was lost was found by his family

A TikTok screen grab of the 76-year-old man from Dong Nai who went missing and was found by his family in HCMC as a result of this video. Photo courtesy of Vo Huynh Tan Tai.

Tai called her back and helped girl's parents look for the old man in HCMC.

Thanks to the help of the ward police, they managed to track him down on the morning of June 26.

Tai felt deeply about the fact his clip helped bring together the family before Vietnamese Family Day, June 28, as he narrated the sequence of events to VnExpress.

On the morning of June 17 he had to interview someone at the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies in District 3. While waiting for the car to return to office, he saw an old man sitting at the intersection of Dien Bien Phu and Le Quy Don streets in District 3, picking up food from the ground and eating it.

Normally, he would have gone up to him and asked if he needed help but that day he had been in too much of a hurry. But during the trip back to office, he could not stop thinking about what he had seen, and told the driver to return to the spot to speak to the old man.

Before leaving he gave him some money and shot a video.

MC Vo Huynh Tan Tai. Photo acquired by VnExpress.

MC Vo Huynh Tan Tai. Photo acquired by VnExpress.

On June 25, he added the clip to a video about homeless people during Covid-19 and posted it on TikTok. Soon a person started asking him about the old man’s location.

"I directly contacted the family to give them all the information I had. We and the ward police looked around the place where I first spotted him."

"At 10 am on June 26 the family found the missing man. It must be a miracle that I accidentally recorded the clips."

According to the family the old man has a memory disorder.

They are, needless to say, grateful to Tai and have promised to come to Ho Chi Minh City when the epidemic is controlled.

According to the old man’s daughter, after taking him home he slowly began to remember his family members.

Tai said he feels guilty he did not post the clip earlier.

Thuan, the old man’s son-in-law, said his name is Phan Van Nhieu. On the day he went missing he went out but could not remember the way back.

His health is stable, and he recognizes everyone in the family.

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