Yuan Xia Wang

I found some additional articles about Yuan Xia Wang and updated her case with a lot more detail today. A citizen of China, She attempted to enter the U.S. illegally with someone else’s passport in 1998. They caught her and sent her to a foster home, from which she disappeared six weeks later. She told the authorities she was twelve, but her foster parents thought she was more like fourteen or fifteen. In any case, she’s been missing for thirteen and a half years.

They don’t seem to know much about Yuan, only what she told them: that she comes from the city of Fuzhou in China and all her immediate family lives there. (Assuming this is all truthful.) Her parents paid big bucks to a Thai man to take her to the U.S., where he was supposed to drop her off at a hotel. He served eight months for passport fraud; I couldn’t find anything else about him. Yuan didn’t speak a word of English, only Mandarin Chinese. Her foster family didn’t speak Mandarin. She was enrolled in junior high, where none of the students spoke Mandarin and only one teacher did. Her foster parents thought she seemed happy enough in their home, but she must have felt really lonely.

It’s up in the air what happened to Yuan, whether she ran away to avoid deportation, or if the smugglers’ network rescued/kidnapped her, or if something else entirely caused her disappearance. The police said it didn’t seem to be like an ordinary human trafficking situation, where the people arrive in the U.S. owing money to the smugglers for their passage and have to work as virtual slaves at sweatshops and brothels: Yuan’s parents had paid for her trip in full ahead of time. In 2008 there were leads placing her in the Kansas City area, but I don’t believe they were ever able to prove she was there. I suppose she could have returned to China.

If she is alive today, Yuan Xia Wang would be somewhere between 25 and 28 years old. Maybe someone out there will recognize a tall Chinese girl with a very round face.

7 thoughts on “Yuan Xia Wang

  1. Princess Shantae February 15, 2012 / 8:44 am

    She sure did look a lot older than twelve. And very tall for a Chinese girl.

    • Meaghan February 15, 2012 / 9:34 am

      The younger she is, the more likely she’ll get good treatment and be allowed to stay in the U.S. In any event they won’t throw a twelve-year-old girl into immigration detention to await the outcome of her case.

  2. katie February 16, 2012 / 12:54 pm

    this story is so bizarre. why did her parents want her to go to the US? what did they pay for? what were the authorities planning on doing with her? surely they didnt want her in the foster system forever.

    • Meaghan February 17, 2012 / 9:46 am

      Her parents probably wanted her to go for the same reason other people emigrate from China to the US: for a better future. China has come a long way in the last few decades, but the standard of living is still much higher in America.

      It costs a lot of money to smuggle someone in: plane tickets, forging or borrowing or stealing the appropriate papers, possibly bribes, and the risk the smugglers are taking. I know that in China, people caught trying to smuggle others out of the country can face the death penalty.

      The articles I read said that she could have been deported, or they could have decided to let her stay in this country.

  3. Pardilia April 19, 2012 / 3:11 pm

    Before you discovered this other information I always wondered if she was much older than she looked. Might be far-fetched, but I wonder if she wasn’t actually in her early 20s and knew more English than she let on. If this was a fake name, there would be no way of tracking her if she slipped away to start a new life under a real name. If her age was way off, too, it would make a lot of sense that she would disappear before a doctor’s appointment.

  4. anniefauxkley January 26, 2015 / 2:01 am

    Are we sure she was not a boy made to look like a girl to further confuse authorities when she was being smuggled? There is an unidentified case of an Asian male who was killed sometime between 2000-2005 estimated to be between 17-22 years old and 5’6″ dressed in women’s clothes who could not be identified – whatever I figured maybe there’s a connection since this missing person Didn’t really have any credible info about her name/sex/age etc. read bold parts only at the link: http://z10.invisionfree.com/usedtobedoe/ar/t67909.htm

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