Part One

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On the morning of February Eighteenth, 1983, I busted through the door of Mommy's House with the rest of the FBI team.

The scent of a decaying body instantly overwhelmed my senses. Immediately, I knew that the stench was from the large, unconscious man on the floor, surrounded by a pool of his own blood.

Through the chaos of the team rushing in, pushing past me with their rifles up and breaking through the basement door to continue searching the house, I spotted her. The girl that the media had been searching for was right in front of my eyes.

She looked nothing like the bubbly school picture the news had been flashing on the screen for almost an entire month. Her eyes were wide and emotionless, gazing directly at me. Her brown hair was a knotted mess, framing her thin face. Blood was splattered along her face, neck, and the tattered dress she was clad in.

The girl was kneeling above the body of an unconscious boy, and in her grip was a large knife that she was clearly intending to use on him. The desperation in her eyes as she hovered the weapon over his chest made my heart jump to my throat.

Once I stepped a little closer, I recognized that the boy in front of her had to have been the sixteen year old boy that was also missing. He was so battered, he was almost unrecognizable - his black hair was saturated with blood, his torso displayed his ribs as well as many contusions and abrasions, and there was a wide, gushing gunshot wound in his leg.

I lowered my gun and took another, careful step closer to the girl.

"Please move away from the boy," I ordered, my heart aching for the terrified girl.

She didn't budge - she was in shock. I was used to dealing with victims in situations similar, but for some reason, the scene in front of me made my stomach twist. I knew those kids went through something worse than Hell.

"Sweetheart," I said gently, "I'm not going to hurt you. Move away from the boy and drop the weapon, please."

Finally, she dropped the weapon, and it fell with a clink to the tiled floor. Once she stood up and backed against the wall, I moved so the EMTs could check on the boy.

I was more than relieved when they announced that the boy was alive, because it really didn't look like he was.

I focused my attention back on the frightened girl. "My name is James," I told her, while tilting my head to the side. "Can you tell me what your name is?"

She stayed silent, but I already knew her name. It was Isabella Bryers, and Cole Mancini was being moved to the stretcher. But where was Elliot Greene?

"Do you know where the youngest boy is?" I asked, trying to keep my voice calm while simultaneously yelling over the disorderly shouting and rushing around behind me.

She shook her head, closing her eyes tightly.

In the background, it was announced by one of the team members that we had found two of the three missing kids.

I inched closer, and Isabella's back hit the wall. Her eyes were then trained on the EMTs lifting Cole onto the stretcher, but her demeanor suddenly shifted. I looked over my shoulder to find them bringing a sickly thin woman out on a stretcher from the basement, a gaping wound embedded in the flesh of her neck.

"No..." Isabella whispered, before she began screaming. "No, no! Please, no! No!"

Isabella went to run towards them, but I caught her fragile body in my arms, restricting her movements.

"That's her!" she cried out, flailing her arms. She elbowed me in my ribcage, and I huffed in pain but kept a strong grip on her. "That's Mommy!" she began kicking her dirt-crusted legs out.

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