Child kidnapping happens with a frequency that can cause parents to become overprotective. In most instances, the child is found quickly, but in others, the child is either gone forever or doesn’t return for many years. According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, most missing children are taken by on-custodial parents. Very few are taken by strangers.
Yet, it does happen, and the family is often left to wonder if their child is being taken care of, if they are hurt, or if they will never come home again. Their lives don’t move forward normally, and some remain forever stuck in the moment when their world crashed in.
Despite the actual numbers about non-family kidnappings, we all are drawn to news stories about children growing up to adulthood and discovering that their “parent” isn’t really their actual parent. Some are satisfied with a tale of an illegal adoption because their real parents were drug addicts, alcoholics, or abusive. Without knowing anything about their background, there’s not many ways they can actually check that information.
For many years, there were cases of children seeing their faces staring back at them from the side of a milk carton. Their shock and dismay was incalculable. The life they knew had been a lie and they didn’t remember another life, as most were taken too young to have developed many long term memories. Movies about children returned home after being gone many years because of these milk cartons once dominated the airwaves.
Today, with how we linked are socially, a child who finds evidence (missing/lost birth certificate, no shot records, no pictures before a certain age) that they might not be with their real parents does have the option to take a DNA test. Child safety kits allow parents to preserve hand and footprints, and even a lock of hair to be used for testing.
That still doesn’t take away from the sense of loss by those left behind, nor the sense of loss the child will feel, even if they don’t know why.
In The Wrong One, Kyle never gives up getting his friend home after she’s kidnapped by strangers. His determination to bring her back is all that drives him as their shared eighteenth birthday approaches.
One by one, the residents of Landry, Georgia gave up on finding Lyssa Winders alive. It had, after all, been fourteen years since she vanished. The men who invaded her home left behind the bodies of those she loved with all her heart. Only one person never gave up and still searches for Lyssa. Kyle Tinker battles his own demons from that night, when he hid like a coward instead of running for help. Their eighteenth birthday looms on the horizon, and Kyle is determined to bring Lyssa home.
Meanwhile, Kim Tinker is having trouble understanding her dreams about a pretty blonde girl—she has no idea that these dreams are of her life as Lyssa Winters. She also hears a guy who has recently started talking to her--in her head. All Kim wants is to get away from a family which hates her, but doing it safely is the one thing which eludes her.
On the day of the Freedom Festival, Kyle sees the girl he never thought he'd see again. And Lyssa finds the one person she's protected for the last fourteen years on their shared birthday.