'Law & Order: SVU' Team Uncovers Shocking Twist Behind Missing Child Case

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit delivered a fast-paced, heart-pounding episode this week, with [...]

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit delivered a fast-paced, heart-pounding episode this week, with Benson and the team solving a child abduction that snowballed into the search for truth in a cold missing child case.

"Missing" started with a pre-credits fight over a parking spot. The driver who stole the spot ran off after police arrived. The cops searched the man's car and found a young girl named Bailey (The Haunting of Hill House's Violet McGraw) inside the trunk.

The SVU team quickly learned that Bailey was born via a surrogate and the woman, Paige (Amanda Leigh Cobb), who gave birth to her had trouble giving her up. In fact, they found photos of Bailey on Paige's phone, so they arrested her for stalking.

Next, the team tracked down the man who stole the car with Bailey inside, and he claimed to be a low-life who had no idea there was a kid inside. Rollins (Kelli Giddish) grilled Paige, who claimed she just enjoyed following Bailey and was not doing anything wrong.

While both Paige and the low-life car thief were both dead ends, Paige did have a photo of Bailey walking through Central Park. In the back of the photo was a man wearing a yellow scarf, which reminded the team that Bailey said her abductor reminded her of Big Bird. This put Fin (Ice-T) and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) on the trail of Emerson Mauer (Jim Schubin).

They interviewed his mom Rowan (Chloe Webb), who revealed Emerson's car was stolen and he was not working on the day Bailey was abducted. Emerson walked in and tried to run away, but Carisi tackled him and cuffed him.

Later, Carisi grilled Emerson, who never reported his car stolen. Then, Benson interviewed Bailey, who used dolls to show that Emerson took off his clothes and hers before putting her in his bed. Bailey also identified a photo of Emerson as the man who abducted her. Unfortunately, Bailey's fathers refused to let her testify in open court. This forced Benson to sign an affidavit that Bailey identified Emerson so Stone (Philip Winchester) could get a warrant to search Emerson's home.

While there, Carisi and Fin discovered a shirt that was clearly not the right size. They also searched the backyard Carisi realized something was up with the grass. The police dug up the backyard, where they discovered a kid's skull.

Carisi interviewed Rowan, who insisted her husband may have had something to do with the skeleton, not Emerson. After all, the skeleton is already decomposed, so Emerson could have been the killer. They discovered the DNA from the shirt they found at Emerson's home matched a young boy named Kevin, who went missing during the '90s. Kevin's sister, Diane, thought it was her fault, but Benson (Mariska Hargitay) had to tell her this was not the case.

Stone decided to launch a grand jury investigation on the hope Rowan would testify against her son in exchange for immunity. Surprisingly, she decided to and claimed she saw Emerson laying in his bedroom with Bailey. Rowan also said her son told her his car was stolen with Bailey still in the trunk.

Rollins later discovered that Emerson has blue eyes, which means he might not be Rowan's son since she and Emerson's father have brown eyes. Benson called Stone right away.

Then came the big twist — Emerson was really the skeleton. In reality, the person believed to be Emerson who kidnapped Bailey could be Kevin. And in reality, the real Emerson died after he fell down a staircase during an argument between his parents. Although it was an accident, the couple did not call police because his father had a criminal background and believed there was no option. A week later, Emerson's father left and Rowan raised Kevin as her own son.

Benson brought in Diane to confront Rowan, who claimed Kevin was better off with her.

"No one deserves somebody else's child," Benson told Rowan.

Later, Benson tried to tell Emerson/Kevin the real story, but he refused to believe her. Benson's theory is that he really knows deep down he has a sister who took care of him. He took Bailey because he wanted to take care of her like his sister took care of him. This was not enough to convince Kevin of the truth.

Benson tried to convince Diane Kevin would come back to her. But Diane understood the truth. Her brother was not coming back.

"We're people. We're not the broken pieces you can put back together with a little Crazy Glue," Diane said.

New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air on NBC Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.

Photo credit: NBC