After Mack recovers from rescuing his older children from a canoe mishap, he realises his youngest daughter is missing. He tries to remain calm for a while, but as time wears on, he becomes more anxious – as first friends, and then the whole campground become involved.
Eventually a couple of young guys bring forth some information – they spotted a little girl in an old, military green truck leaving the campsite. He remembers seeing the driver shove the girl down on the seat, but thought maybe they were just playing. At this news, the sheriff is contacted, and road blocks get put in place.
The search team takes Mack back to the camp site, where Missy was last seen; to determine if anything is other than Mack remembers. There are signs of a struggle over by a tree, where Missy’s shoe and a red crayon are laying. And there is a ladybug pin on her coloring book. The pin proves to be significant to the FBI agent on the case – Special Agent Wikowsky. She says that, based on the five spots on the ladybug, this is the Little Ladykiller’s fifth murder. He tends to spot his targets a few days in advance, and waits for an opportunity to take them. The girls are always taken from campsites, the killer seems to be an excellent woodsman, and the bodies are never recovered.
With this information, Mack loses it – and he contemplates the death of his daughter, the horror of it, and how he will possibly tell his wife. He wonders how this could have happened.
At five pm a promising report comes in from a roadblock – the vehicle has been spotted, and the various search teams set out. A tracker flashed a floodlight off a hubcap, barely visible on an old unnamed road, that was almost impossible to see. At the end of the road was a cabin. Mack is called in, to identify little Missy’s ripped and bloody red dress, laying next to the fire place.
The next few weeks are full of interviews, and the Great Sadness settles over the family. Mack and his wife Nan do well together, and are in some ways closer for the tragedy. She has not blamed Mack for their loss. Mack struggles with “If onlys”. It is three and a half years later, and there is a rift in Mack’s relationship with God that he is trying to ignore. So the note is of monumental importance. He wonders if God writes notes, and if so, why does He want Mack to go to the cabin? He feels toyed with, but realising he needs answers, determines to go to the cabin and find out what is going on….