"Manhattan Vigil"
SVU, Episode 14.05
Production number: 14006
First aired: 24 October 2012
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Svu 1405 300 episode
Written By
Peter Blauner

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac

A child abduction investigation reopens the thirteen-year-old case of another missing boy.


Wyatt Morris, a young boy from Morningside Heights, is kidnapped while in the care of his father, and the investigation reminds Captain Cragen, Sergeant Munch and Detective Benson of an unsolved kidnapping of Hector Rodriguez that occurred in the same neighborhood thirteen years ago. While the entire squad races against the clock to find the missing boy, Benson vows to learn from past mistakes to set both cases right. The squad at first suspect a police officer, Steve Lomatin, but he's proved to have a solid alibi when he is seen on video picking up his various prescriptions for an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic. He didn't want the NYPD to know about his mental illnesses because it would have hindered him from getting on the force. He does help the SVU team piece together important details concerning Hector and other missing boys' cases:  there are arson occurrences that took place within a few days after their disappearances. The team realizes they have limited time to find Wyatt, before he is presumably killed and his body is burned.

Investigating, they find the fire occurred before Hector disappeared, but that nearby building claimed water damage and put down a new concrete floor in the basement. Digging up the basement, they find Hector's body and have to relay the news to his mother who has been holding out hope that her boy was still alive. Checking on the building records, they find they were all owned by Wyatt's grandfather and realize he had the buildings burned down. Checking his records with the help of Wyatt's father, they find that a man named Lewis Hodda signed for the concrete and arrest him. When they threaten to tell everyone he's a pedophile and "agree" to help him, he breaks down and tells them where to find Wyatt who he had kidnapped after his father wouldn't give him any money. Searching an old warehouse, Benson finds Wyatt alive and unharmed and returns him to his parents. Later, a vigil is held for Hector which all the detectives attend.



Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Episode references


Munch: [about Officer Lomatin] He wasn't happy that I didn't treat him as a brother officer.
Cragen: Good. Do it again.

Rolins: [about Officer Lomatin] Just because he's crazy doesn't mean he's wrong.

Amaro: [as they tell Delores Rodriguez about her missing son's death] Worst part of being a cop.
Olivia: Yeah.

Munch: Lomatin was right. There are no coincidences.

Olivia: You know maybe David Morris got tired of paying two sets of legal fees.
Tutuola: And has his own son kidnapped?
Amaro: Or the wife wants to make him look bad.
Munch: Nothing's fair in love and war.
Benson: She does wanna make him look bad, she made a point of telling me that he got there at eleven today, two hours late.
Rollins: Eleven? The train didn't leave until 12:15.
Cragen: Did David tell you he stopped anywhere?
Amaro: No, and I asked.

Background information and Notes

  • This episode marks the 300th episode of the series.
  • Jean de Segonzac, who directed the first episode of the series, also returns to direct this episode.
  • This would be the first milestone episode without Detective Stabler seen.
  • The beginning footage of Olivia looking up at the man in the window in a flashback is used from the Season 1 episode 11 "Bad Blood".

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

My Dear Lady Anne Bakery
2036 8th Avenue
Sunday, October 7

Morningside Park
West 110th Street
Sunday, October 7

328 West 115th Street
Sunday, October 7

Previous episode:
"Acceptable Loss"
"Manhattan Vigil"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 14
Next episode:
"Friending Emily"
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Norah Jones' song "Waiting" is played as the show closes with the end credits.
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