Photo credit: taylorschlades from morguefile.com

“Where is Dominick? Has anyone seen Dominick?” Kim’s panicked voice rose with each syllable. Frantic, she searched room to room throughout the huge rental for the missing four-year-old. It was barely dawn on the coast of the crisp Pacific Ocean.

The Clausen family rented a three-story furnished house with a beautiful view a block from the ocean for their annual family reunion. Sleeping quarters were tight for 25 people, no matter how many camped out on the floor. Dominick’s single mother, Jen, decided to spend the night elsewhere. She knew her kids would be safe with the cousins and adult relatives staying in the house for the night. Her Aunt Kim assured her they would be fine and not even miss her.

Uncle Jeff, still groggy from sleep, rose from the couch to rattle the front door. “The door isn’t even locked. You did lock this door last night, didn’t you, Kim?”

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