At the other end of the trail, diggers unearthed the boy and freed his body from a tomb of soil. As they brought him up and into the light of day, investigators struggled upstairs to make sense of what they found.
Stephens wasn’t with them, but was there in the yard. In the morning sun, he brushed dirt from the boy’s face.
He believed with all his heart that the boy could finally rest in peace. Somewhere, he imagined, he was off to play forever in the fields of paradise, skipping through the flowers as he held his sister’s hand.
story by Joe Stanley