Teenage girl vanishes, reappears 10 years later on family’s doorstep & points finger at stepfather


Laura woke up the morning after she returned from a business trip and saw her husband was still asleep. As usual, she went to the kitchen to make herself coffee, but before that, she went to check on her daughter Emily who was supposed to be in her room, sleeping.

When Laura entered Emily’s room, the bed was perfectly made and everything was well organized but Emily wasn’t there. After checking the bathroom and the rest of the house and realizing her daughter was nowhere to be seen, Laura panicked.

This wasn’t the first time that Emily wasn’t home. Being a teenager who wanted to hang out with her friends and attend parties, she sneaked out before, but Laura’s gut was telling her that it was different this time. 

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“Rick, wake up!” Laura returned to their bedroom and tried to wake up her husband, who was Emily’s stepfather. “Emily’s missing!”

“Let me sleep, Laura,” Richard replied with groggy. “She’s a teen. She must have snuck out to meet those friends of hers. Relax.”

“This is serious, Rick. Her room is spick and span! This isn’t like Emily!”

Richard, however, didn’t seem too concerned probably because he believed Emily would appear any time soon.

But Laura knew something wasn’t right, and just when she returned to the kitchen she received a text message which read, “If you want your daughter alive, bring $100,000 to the address below…”

The entire situation went from bad to worse and everything felt like a bad dream.

Laura immediately called the police. In no time, a group of cops and detectives were at Laura’s door. She explained to them what was going on and they assured her everything would be alright and that they’d do all in their power to find her daughter.

When the cops arrived, Richard woke up and went downstairs. 

“Laura? What’s going on? What are cops doing here?”

“Someone kidnapped Emily!” she replied tremblingly. “The kidnapper is demanding ransom.”

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“Are you sure it isn’t one of Emily’s games?” he asked as he joined her in the living room.

“Of course it’s not, Rick!” she cried. “We have to find her!”

The cops, Laura, and Richard entered Emily’s room.

“Anything missing from here?” Detective Harris asked Laura and Richard.

“The carpet!” Laura now noticed. “It’s not here.”

“You got any idea about it?” Detective Harris looked at Richard.

“Uh, yeah, I took it to the dry cleaner,” Richard replied.

Detective Harris made a note. “I’ll need the dry cleaner’s address, please.”

“Yeah, I’ll get it. One second,” Richard said and left the room.

At that moment, Laura received another text message that read, “If you involve the cops, you’ll never see your daughter again.”

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“Let’s drop the ransom, Mrs. Dennings,” Detective Harris suggested. “We can set up around the drop-off location. It’s the best chance of getting your daughter back and catching the kidnapper.”

“No way!” Richard protested as he returned with the address. “That’s too risky. We should just give the ransom, and then maybe the bad guys will let her go.”

“But Richard, what if they take the money and run away?” Laura shook her head. “No. I think the detectives are right.”

A decision was made for undercover officers to be positioned around the ransom drop-off point.

The following day, Laura drove to the drop-off point and her only hope was to see her daughter. She waited and kept looking at the rear-view mirror of the car, but no one approached the oak tree where she placed the money. When the night came, the detective knocked on the car’s window and told Laura to go home because the kidnapper probably change their mind.

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Devastated, Laura returned home and went straight to Emily’s room. She then noticed the carpet was there. 

“Doesn’t the carpet look like it’s new?” her husband asked her. 

Laura kneeled on the carpet. It was a carpet Emily chose herself just a few months ago. 

“How could it be so new?” Laura asked confused.

“A good cleaner can do wonders, honey,” Richard replied almost too quickly.

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Ten years have gone by, and there was no sign of Emily. Everyone moved on and got used to the fact that she won’t be coming back. Everyone but Laura. This mother could never stop hoping that she would see her daughter again. She never stopped trying and praying to God for Emily’s safe return.

One day, Laura got the idea to place banners with Emily’s face on them around the city. She visited an agency and told the woman working there her story. The two agreed to place three huge banners at the busiest streets in the city. 

“The design was simple—a blown-up version of Emily’s photograph, her smile frozen in time, and the words ‘Forever missed, forever loved’ in bold, impossible-to-ignore letters. Beneath that, ‘If you know something, say something,’ followed by a hotline number.”

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Richard wasn’t happy that Laura placed the banners. He accused her of wasting their money. “All our savings are gone, Laura! Just because you plastered her face all across the city!” he told her.

But at that particular moment, there was a knock on the door.

Laura went to see who it might be. The moment she opened the door, she was left completely stunned. A young woman was standing on the front porch. Although ten years passed by, she immediately recognized her daughter.

It was Emily. 

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“Yeah, Mom! I’m home!” Emily said and then pulled away and raised her one arm to show the carpet she was holding. “This was all I had, Mom,” she said. “And I kept it.”

“Who’s there?” Richard’s loud voice could be heard from the inside of the house. 

As he approached the front door and noticed Emily standing there he went pale. 

“What’s wrong, Richard?” Emily sneered. “You see a ghost? He’s the one responsible for my disappearance, Mom!” Emily pointed at Richard.

“What? That’s nonsense!” Richard cried in his defense.

“Come inside, Emily,” Laura said. As Emily entered, Laura closed the front door. She looked from her daughter to her husband. What was going on?

“She’s lying, Laura!” Richard yelled. “Don’t listen to her! She’s trying to tear us apart!”

“Tell me everything, Emily!” Laura insisted, ignoring Richard.

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Ten years ago…

On the day of Emily’s disappearance, Laura was on a business trip and she was left with Richard. 

When she returned home from school, Richard was watching TV and invited Emily to sit next to him so that they could watch the show together. She didn’t want to, but he insisted. 

Scared, she sat next to him, but she then became aware of her stepdad touching her skirt’s hem. “Nice skirt,” he commented, and Emily became even more scared than before.

At one moment, he offered to unbutton her shirt and said, “Come on, Emily. You’ve grown, and it’s not like you don’t want me.”

Emily yelled “Get away!” and ran straight to her room but Richard followed her. “You don’t need to be scared, Emily!” He smirked.

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“What are you doing here? Get out! This is my room!” she cried. “Leave, Richard, or I’ll tell Mom everything!”

Richard burst out laughing. “And who do you think she’ll believe? A grown man or her over-imaginative daughter?”

“She’ll believe me! I know my mom!” Emily confidently yelled. She then rushed to grab her phone, but Richard pushed her away.

Emily felt sharp pain in the head and saw blood dropping on the carpet. The next moment, she blacked out. 

Without even checking if she was still alive, Richard wrapped her body in the carpet and placed her in the back of his truck. He then started the truck and when he reached the river, he threw Emily there. 

When he returned home, he cleaned the place so that Laura wouldn’t suspect that he’s involved in her daughter’s disappearance.

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Present day…

“A couple of fishermen found me, Mom,” Emily continued. “I was in a neighboring town. A kind family there took me in. They also tried to find my family, but I didn’t remember my past. It was only when I returned here and saw my face on the billboards that I recalled everything—My home, you, and the terrible…night!”

“Stop it, Emily! You’re accusing me after all I have done for you guys?” Richard screamed.

But Laura was certain her daughter was telling the truth.

She called the cops and a DNA analysis was later done to determine of the blood on the carpet was Emily’s. It didn’t come as a surprise when the results confirmed it was. 

Some months later, Richard was sentenced to prison.

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We are so happy Emily was finally able to return home after the ordeal she’s gone through.

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