We open on Danny Solano standing at the edge of a cliff looking down at the ocean. He appears to be distraught and bleeding.
The next morning, Danny's parents prepare for their work day without a clue Danny is missing. When the terrifying realization hits Beth begins to panic.
Meanwhile, Detective Ellie Miller, a friend of the Solano's, has been passed over for a promotion. She is called down to the beach, where she meets her new partner and the man that took her job, Detective Emmett Carver. There's a small body lying face down in the sand.
When Ellie realizes the identity of the victim, she tells Carver everything she knows about the boy, his family and assures him this is not a suicide.
The boy's mother, Beth, is stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. When she taps on a car window to ask what's going on, she's told a body was found down at the beach. She runs as fast as her feet will carry her and though she's held back, it's too late. Beth recognizes her son's sneakers.
That afternoon, Carver and Miller have the unenviable task of informing the Solano family their son is dead. The victim of blunt force trauma to the head, he was facing his attacker. A homicide investigation is now under way.
A devastated Beth tells the detectives about Danny's wildlife group, run by Jack Reinhold. The eccentric, private man becomes just one in a long list of suspects as neighbors turn against neighbor.
Gracepoint has never seen a crime like this and the press immediately jumps on the case. Ellie's nephew, Owen, learns a bit too much and leaks the victim's name via social media. A reporter for the San Francisco Globe takes an interest in the case and makes her way to the small town.
Ellie discovers security camera footage of Danny skateboarding down the street the night of his disappearance. She realizes his skateboard and cell phone have gone missing.
Unfortunately, Ellie's son, Tom, knows more than he's telling. Tom was Danny's best friend and is currently in possession of the phone. Why did the boy erase all of Danny's text messages? Not to mention, why would Tom delete the content of his entire hard drive?
Things are not adding up, but everyone is a suspect. Carver and Miller will stop at nothing to bring Danny's killer to justice.