In the small hamlet of Horsthausen in the Münsterland the son of Melanie and Thomas Rensing has been kidnapped. Ekki Talkötter manages to persuade Georg Wilsberg to help his cousin Thomas’ distraught family. They don’t want to involve the police out of fear for their little boy Max’s safety – so Wilsberg agrees to make the money handover. But unbeknownst to her husband, fearful mom Melanie has already informed Inspector Springer, who intervenes. In the village, suspicion is soon raised against Wolfgang Schwendter, who is widely known from a child abuse trial: a blood-stained T-shirt is found on his property that suggests he could be the culprit and that Max is probably no longer alive. Both police and villagers believe they‘ve got their man, but so far hard and fast evidence is lacking.