Before court, Olivia is nervous but her lawyer says it's just a formality. They're seeing the same judge that suggested Olivia take custody of Noah in the first place.
In court, Sheila questions Olivia's fitness as a parent because of the recent investigation into Noah's bruises. She and Olivia bicker and the judge makes Olivia stop. Sheila then says she doesn't want to take Noah away from Olivia but she wants to be part of his life.
In Central Park, a young woman comes running up to the cops and seems very disoriented. She doesn't know who she is and says she got away from a guy who raped her. SVU is called in. The girl is in the hospital and is screaming she doesn't want anyone to touch her. Eventually she lets Sonny and Amanda interview her and gives enough details that they think she might be Emma Lawrence, a six-year-old who disappeared in Brooklyn 10 years earlier.
The Lawrences come to see the girl and after they show her a photo of their young daughter she says she remembers them. They take her home. However, security cams around the city show this girl took two subways to get to Central Park, leaving Fin and Benson suspicious.
The family immediately calls a press conference to welcome Emma home. Sonny and Amanda try to talk to the parents but they refuse to submit to DNA testing when Emma is first getting comfortable with them. They question Emma about her story, supposedly so they can catch her kidnapper, but Emma gets upset so the parents ask the detectives to leave.
Benson tells Barba about her experience in family court. She is not sure whether she is right to keep Noah from his grandmother. Barba encourages her to trust her instincts.
Amanda asks if Barba can get a warrant for Emma's DNA but he refuses to do it because it could cause chaos when the case was just closed. However, Sonny finds evidence that the girl is a con artist from Florida named Britney Taylor.
"Emma" and her brother go on TV and the detectives note that Glenn changed his story from his original statement 10 years ago in order to match Britney's claims. Fin wonders if Glenn was involved in Emma's disappearance in the first place.
Amanda tries to talk to Glenn at a bar and he gives her strange non-answers to her questions but the bartender tips off Mr. Lawrence and he shows up and tells Glenn never to talk to Amanda again and orders the detectives to leave his family alone. The detectives begin to suspect something is strange. Benson believes the family may abuse Britney and decides to remove her. The cops arrest her while Mr. Lawrence yells about it.
In the squad room, Britney confesses to the con. She admits to Benson and Rollins that her real mother abused her. Her mom was a drug addict who burned her with cigarettes and poured drain cleaner all over her when she tried to stop her. She ran away and lived in youth shelters but now she's too old and the adult shelters are uncomfortable for her. She wanted a real family. She saw a news special in which the Lawrences sent Emma a message and asked her to come home. She could tell they wanted their daughter back and she wanted a family, and she looked a lot like Emma so she thought everyone would win. The cops tell her they won't file charges if she goes undercover.
Britney meets Glenn at a coffee shop and he confesses that he killed Emma by accident. Later he tells the cops he got angry because she was dancing in front of the TV and he smothered her with a pillow. THe cops realize that he was too small to hide the body himself. Mr. Lawrence confesses that he buried Emma and he and Glenn made up this story about her being kidnapped. He didn't want his son to go to jail. He and Glenn both go to jail. Mrs. Lawrence is angry that SVU ever brought Britney into their lives because now she has lost everything.
Benson meets with Noah's grandmother and they agree they should not be enemies or fight each other in court. Mrs. Porter says Ellie was out of control as a teen. She had a boyfriend her parents disapproved of and used drugs and her father said to let her run away. He died soon after. Noah is all she has left of the family. Benson wants what is best for Noah.
Benson tells Noah that if he's uncomfortable to whisper in her ear. Sheila comes and Noah warms up to his grandmother immediately. They walk off to his room while Benson looks on, looking jealous.