Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
The lives of a down-and-out but loving and optimistic Florida couple change dramatically when their desperately impoverished relatives abduct the 11-year-old son of a wealthy businessman and bring the child to their house. When Lucas and Roberta find that Roberta's sister Carrie and her husband Carl have kidnapped little John Wesley Danforth from a little-league game, their first instinct is to call the cops and send the boy back home. But Carl is in dire financial straits and desperately needs the ransom money. He pulls out a loaded gun and forces Lucas and Roberta to become accessories to the crime. Meanwhile, the boy's upstanding father August Danforth hires a private detective. Against the advice of the investigator, he then agrees to pay the $100,000 that Carl demands. When it is time to pick up the loot, Carl remains at home with Roberta and the boy and forces Lucas to accompany Carrie to get the money. While they are gone, Roberta engineers an escape for herself and John Wesley. As soon as Lucas returns with the money, the three speed off in a truck. Lucas and Roberta want to take John Wesley straight to the police, but he refuses to go. Shortly thereafter, they learn the shocking reason why: it seems that his fine, well-respected father is a child batterer. All John Wesley wants is to be reunited with his estranged mother in Louisiana. When faced with the child's obvious suffering, the good-hearted couple feel they have no choice but to obey his wishes. This puts all three of them plus the mother in grave danger for not only has the vengeful August called in the FBI, but the dangerously enraged Carl and Roberta are rapidly closing in on them. In order to survive, the four fugitives make one final effort to make it to the safety of Mexico.
abuse, child, child-abuse, investigation, kidnapping, poverty, private-detective, ransom, victim