Jan Manders can’t accept the finding that her daughter’s death was an accident. She walks away on her daughter Jennifer’s fifth birthday and declines into substance abuse and mental illness. Jennifer and her older brother, Christopher, are pretty much left to raise themselves. Jan hires a private detective, Norbert Kurczewski, to investigate Michelle’s disappearance. Kurczewski tracks down a waitress and several patrons at a restaurant in Black Earth, about 70 miles away, who say they saw Michelle there during the time she was missing.