Sierra Stevens Case In ‘Missing: Dead Or Alive?,’ Recap: How Was Sierra Found?

Sometimes, Netflix offers documentaries that just can’t slake our appetite for an adrenaline rush. Unquestionably, Missing: Dead or Alive is one of them. The four episodes of the show each feature a distinct missing-person story that is based on a real-life incident. The search for David Taylor was the only one of these instances that felt captivating to watch, but the concluding episode, which detailed the true story of Sierra Stevens, a 17-year-old girl who went missing, was executed terribly and a weak attempt to wrap up the series.


Spoilers Ahead

Who Is Sierra Stevens?

17-year-old Richland County teenager Sierra Stevens vanished after leaving foster care. Due to the fact that both of Sierra’s parents were drug addicts and unable to care for their children, she had a challenging upbringing. When Sierra’s mother overdosed and died, her father took over as her sole guardian. However, Sierra made a mistake when she went out in her father’s car one day and wrecked it, killing a person on the road. His father had been accused of maltreatment, and Sierra had been brought to the juvenile jail. She had been placed in foster care after being released from jail.


Doris, Sierra’s foster mother, was the one who filed Sierra’s missing report. Since many other young girls had been kidnapped for the purpose of sex trafficking in the same neighborhood where Sierra lived, the investigators were gravely concerned for the young girl’s safety. As a result, J. P. Smith, the missing juvenile investigator, started to have doubts about the case since it may include an abduction for sex trafficking. The extensive inquiry had already begun. Sierra had a close relationship with her grandparents, who were also concerned about their granddaughter’s security since they had received no updates from her.

Vicky, in the meantime, was in a pickle since the major crime department had asked her to join the team. But her true calling was tracking down the missing persons. Her recent involvement in the case of David Taylor, however, caused her to have doubts about her own abilities. Heidi reassured her, saying that Vicky needed some time to consider her options before deciding whether to stay in the missing person section or transfer to the major crime department.


However, the investigation went on. When JP Smith and Vicky gathered information on Sierra, they discovered that she had always been a smart student and had a talent for modeling. She won multiple beauty pageants because her father admired her abilities. Yet Doris shared her worries about Sierra, who had repeatedly asked for a father figure to buy her clothes and give her money. Therefore, there’s a chance that Sierra was persuaded by someone for money before getting kidnapped. The investigators looked into her social media accounts, which showed no evidence of hacking. Since neither Sierra nor any of her exposed photos had been circulated, the allegation that she had been abducted by sex traffickers might not be accurate.

How Was Sierra Stevens Found?

When Sierra’s grandparents called her on her cell phone repeatedly, a guy answered instead of Sierra, which worried both the grandparents and the detectives. Vicky made an effort to get in touch with Sierra’s friends, whom she had last seen the night before she vanished. One of them was a young guy who, out of pure dread of running into the police, was reluctant to share information. He later offered to dial Sierra’s new number. The young man dialed Sierra’s number with permission from the police, and she answered. Vicky Rains had finally been successful in locating Sierra Stevens. Following the location, she arrived at the home of Sierra’s best friend, Emily, which had lately served as Sierra’s hideout. All of the conspiracy theories surrounding Sierra’s disappearance were false because Sierra had voluntarily severed her ties with her family after learning that detectives were looking for her. She had been in prison before, which gave her a sense of paranoia. She thought the authorities had arrived to arrest her, so she went to her closest friend Emily’s house and changed her phone number. Her friend Emily had advised her not to communicate with anyone for the entire period, which is why contacting Sierra became difficult for the police. Vicky, however, was at least pleased to see Sierra was safe and alive and that nothing terrible had happened to her.


Vicky Rains eventually informed Heidi of her decision. She had opted to remain with the Missing Persons Unit because, in addition to solving mysteries, she was passionate about saving lives. All of the uncertainty she had experienced in her last case involving David Taylor vanished once she was able to find Sierra alive and healthy. As a result, she did not want to be involved in any other division of work, and her employment at the Missing Person Unit became her primary focus. Heidi greeted her return to the unit with open arms.

Final Words

In contrast to other crime documentaries, the series seemed more like a TV cable crime thriller in its last episode. Vicky Rains and Heidi Jackson’s portrayals of the highs and lows they encountered during each investigation came off as rehearsed and devoid of any emotional resonance. It seems that the dialogues that Heidi and Vicky repeatedly used to describe their experiences working as Missing Person Unit investigators were entirely scripted. Since we can’t expect an investigator to deliver lines like a trained actor, the conclusion of the series showing Heidi admiring Vicky’s presence in the department was unavoidably theatrical. The series should have only focused on the cases, which would have made viewers think that these events were real rather than cooked up. The unique approach of Missing: Dead or Alive made the scenes look entirely scripted and fictional, which is not at all what we would anticipate from a series of crime documentaries.

Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

Latest articles