Teenage Girl Vanishes, Reappears 10 Years Later on Family’s Doorstep & Points Finger at Stepfather – Story of the Day

Laura wakes up after a business trip and notices her daughter is missing. She starts searching for her daughter. Ten years later, the daughter appears on their doorstep and tells the whole truth.

Laura woke up, still feeling exhausted. Beside her, Richard, her husband and Emily’s stepfather, was fast asleep.

Laura peeled back the sheets and went to the kitchen like every other morning. The business trip had been tiring. Once she had prepared breakfast, she headed to Emily’s room.

“Time to wake up, sweetie!” Laura started, but her voice trailed off when she noticed Emily’s bed was perfectly made.

Laura checked Emily’s bathroom, but Emily wasn’t there. Weirdly enough, Emily’s things were perfectly organized. Laura searched all the rooms, the backyard, and even the garden, but Emily was nowhere to be seen.

Laura knew Emily wasn’t the most obedient kid. She had sneaked out a couple of times and even attended wild parties. But today, it wasn’t one of those reasons why Emily was missing. Laura could feel it in her gut.

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

“Let me sleep, Laura,” Richard replied, his voice 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!”

But Richard dismissed her concerns and went back to sleep. Laura was anxious. She went downstairs to the living room, hoping Emily would walk in through the door any moment, safe and sound.

Suddenly, her phone pinged with a message.

“If you want your daughter alive, bring $100,000 to the address below…”

Laura’s head spun. She wanted to tell herself it was a bad dream. But it wasn’t.

With trembling hands, Laura immediately called the cops. They arrived soon. She had just let them in when Richard’s voice boomed from upstairs. “Laura? What’s going on? What are cops doing here?”

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

“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.

While the detectives looked around the space for other clues, Laura’s phone pinged again. Blood drained off her face as she read the message that had popped on her screen.

“What is it?” Detective Harris noticed her horrified expression. She handed her phone to the cop, who read the message aloud.

“If you involve the cops, you’ll never see your daughter again.”

“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.”

Richard couldn’t argue any further. It was decided: Undercover officers would be positioned around the ransom drop-off point.

As Laura drove to the drop-off point with the ransom money, she only thought of Emily. She just wanted her back. She wanted her baby girl home.

Laura parked near the park the kidnapper had mentioned. Then, following his directions, she walked over to the oak tree in the park’s center and placed the money there.

As Laura returned to her car, she positioned her rearview mirror to keep a vigilant watch on the drop site.

Detective Harris, in a nondescript jacket and jeans, signaled at her from across the street that the cops were positioned. Laura’s heart pounded every time she looked into the rearview mirror. She couldn’t wait for the kidnapper to show up.

But day turned into night, and no one ever came. The children playing there left the park, and soon, it stood abandoned again. Detective Harris approached her window, and she rolled it down.

“I think it’s time you should head home, Mrs. Dennings. Perhaps the kidnapper changed his mind.”

Laura was crushed. How could the kidnapper not show up? Did he get a hint about the undercover cops? The drive home was a blur for Laura. As she returned to Emily’s room, she saw the carpet was back. Richard stood there, his eyes bearing a strange relief.

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

Laura kneeled to run her fingers on the carpet. Emily had chosen it herself several months ago. She was so excited when they brought it home.

“How could it be so new?” Laura blurted.

“A good cleaner can do wonders, honey,” Richard replied quickly, almost too quickly. And it was then a doubt crept into Laura’s mind. But the grief of her missing daughter was too deep to dwell on anything else.

Ten years passed. The cops closed the case because there were no leads. Everyone seemed to have moved on from Emily’s disappearance, but Laura hadn’t. She entered an advertising office, clutching her daughter’s photographs. They had turned a pale yellow, and the edges of some were worn.

Laura approached a woman at the front desk. “I’d like to rent some banners,” Laura said.

“Sure,” the woman, Jenna, smiled. “How many would you want?”

“As many as I can afford.”

Jenna listened patiently as Laura explained about Emily’s disappearance. They settled on three banners placed along the busiest highways in the area. Jenna offered a compassionate discount, touched by Laura’s story, which she had pieced together from Laura’s brief, poignant explanations.

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.

Every time Laura looked at those billboards, a spark of hope ignited in her. Her friends and family thought the advertisements were meant to provide her with peace. But Laura didn’t need peace. She wanted her daughter.

Laura hoped someone would call her and tell her Emily was found. As days passed, she did receive a lot of calls. But it was just those well-wishers.

One day, Richard just lost it. “All our savings are gone, Laura! Just because you plastered her face all across the city!”

“So?” Laura retorted. “What do you expect me to do, Richard? Just forget about our daughter? I want to keep her memory alive!”

Laura and Richard’s argument was cut short by a sudden knock on the door. Huffing, Laura approached her front door and answered. A young girl stood on the doorstep, and she didn’t have to speak a word for Laura to recognize her.

Laura threw her arms open around the girl and hugged her. “Emily, oh, you’re back!”

“Yeah, Mom! I’m home!” Emily replied as the two stood hugging each other. Then Emily 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 boomed from the inside. His face went pale when he approached the front door and looked at Emily.

“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.

Ten years ago…

Laura was away on a work trip for a week. When Emily returned from school, Richard was sprawled on the living room couch, watching TV.

“Hey, kiddo!” he said as he sat up. “How was school?”

“It was fine,” Emily replied and was about to head to her room, but Richard insisted she join him for TV. “I could use some company,” he said. “And it’s your favorite show.”

Emily hesitantly sat beside Richard. At first, she didn’t suspect something was wrong. But then, she became aware of Richard touching her skirt’s hem. “Nice skirt,” he commented. Emily’s heart thumped in her chest. She managed to say thanks.

She tried to focus on the TV show, but it was too hot. She began unbuttoning her shirt when her fingers brushed against Richard. “Let me help you,” he said, then ran his fingers along her neck.

“I’ve got it,” Emily said and pulled away. But Richard didn’t take her hint. He insisted that she come closer to him so that she could watch the TV properly. “Come on, Emily. You’ve grown, and it’s not like you don’t want me,” he said.

Emily freaked out. “Get away!” she yelled. “I’ve got to do my homework!”

Suddenly, their neighbor’s Beagle barked, distracting Richard. Emily got the chance to escape and dashed to her bedroom.

She was terrified and disgusted, but she felt safe here. But it wasn’t long before her peace was disrupted.

Richard entered the room, a broad grin on his face. “You don’t need to be scared, Emily!” He smirked.

“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. Her gaze then traveled to the cell phone resting on her bedside table.

Richard’s face contorted with anger. “No calls!” he bellowed. In a sudden move, he reached out to push her away from the phone. Emily was about to grab it and ended up losing her balance.

The room spun, and she felt a sharp pain at the back of her head. The wooden corner of the table had dealt a blow, and the world went black for Emily.

When Richard noticed the puddle of blood under Emily’s head, he panicked. He had to think fast. Richard didn’t even check if she was alive.

He wrapped her body in the carpet, dumped it in his trunk, and then drove out of town. Richard tossed her body into a river, thinking it was Emily’s end. He then returned home and cleaned Emily’s room so nobody doubted him.

“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.

Laura had had enough. She would not fall for Richard’s lies anymore.

Laura called the police, and Richard was taken to the police station. A DNA test was also conducted to see if the blood stain on the carpet matched Emily’s blood, and it did.

Richard finally surrendered when the DNA results came out and confessed that he wanted his wife’s money, which is why he pretended to be a kidnapper.

Months later, the court sentenced Richard to prison. Emily and Laura were finally free, and now they had each other.

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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a boy who accidentally met his mother he had thought died years ago while stopping a woman from mugging a hotel guest.

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