Missing boy Hoang Vinh Le has been found after he was taken from his grandmother in broad daylight 16 months ago.
The last time Vinh was seen alive was in May 2021.
“The missing boy has been found,” his grandmother Kim Huong Tran told A Current Affair on Monday night.
“Finally, I got him back.”
On September 25, Ms Kim got a phone call that she had been waiting almost a year and a half for.
After confirming the details of Vinh’s disappearance, she was able to see his face for the first time over a video call.
She has since been issued full custody of Vinh and has been able to take him home.
Police informed her that Vinh had been abandoned at a childcare centre in Campsie in Sydney’s southwest.
The woman who left him there called the centre to say she had to go to a funeral in Vietnam.
When no one came to pick him up for three days, staff called police and someone recognised Vinh.
Ms Kim helped raise Vinh when his parents, Lyn Kim Do and Hoang Thanh Le, split shortly after he was born in June 2020.
When he was nine months old, Vinh’s parents changed their minds and got a court order for him to live with his father.
The grandmother refused to hand him over, but his father allegedly snatched Vinh from a doctor’s waiting room.
A judge ordered the parents to give Vinh back but they refused.
His father then posted photos of Vinh on Facebook not long before his first birthday – the first sign of life in months.
“Just informing everyone that myself and my partner and our son Hoang Vinh Le is safe and all living happy together,” he wrote.
“We are not missing. So I don’t know why we are listed as missing people LOL.”
A week later, they were arrested and told police they had paid a woman $200 to take Vinh for a night.
Police searched properties from Sydney to Perth for 16 months to find Vinh.
NSW Police Detective Inspector Timothy Liddiard led the investigation, calling it an extremely unique case.
“We quite often searched premise where we located items of which we believed to be Vinh’s,” he told A Current Affair.
“(It was) certainly frustrating for us because we knew we were probably just a bit behind the eight ball and missed out on those opportunities on recovering Vinh.”
Vinh did not recognise his grandmother at first and no longer responds to his name.
Police are now working to find out who was involved in hiding the boy from authorities for almost two years.