It was a bright and beautiful Illinois spring morning, as far as Doreen could tell. There was no indication that things were about to take a sinister twist. That was until Doreen and her two youngest daughters were forcibly shoved into a car and kidnapped from their home and driven to a small town in Texas.
But perhaps we should back up to the start, to the first foreboding sign that life was about to take a dark turn.
It started on Friday the 13th.
It was April 2012, and Doreen lived in a beautiful single-family home with her two sons, having recently graduated from school with her medical assistant certification. Things were going well; she was happy. But that day, the tides of her life would shift, a giant wave set to destroy everything in its path.
Doreen’s mom, the only person of support in her life, died unexpectedly. It was a crushing blow, too much for Doreen to handle mentally or emotionally, and she suffered a mental break.
Less than three months later, she was pregnant with her third child and first daughter. At just four weeks into her pregnancy, she began experiencing horrific abuse from the baby’s father.
“I had to beg him for prenatal treatment, and at my appointments when they asked if I was safe at home, he was always in the room with me,” Doreen said.