Law and Order
"Missing Pieces"
SVU, Episode 13.05
Production number: 13005
First aired (US): 19 October 2011
First aired (UK): 8 April 2012
First aired (CAN): 19 October 2011
First aired (AUS): 16 February 2012
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AllieTim MissingPieces.jpg
Written By
Julie Martin & Warren Leight

Directed By
Peter Leto

As the SVU Detectives race to find a missing baby on Halloween, they begin to doubt the story of the distraught parents.


A young woman visiting from Buffalo claims that her car was stolen outside a Manhattan convenience store with her baby still buckled in the backseat. Benson and Amaro get as much information as they can from the anxious mother and her boyfriend at the police station, while Fin and Rollins track their path from Buffalo for clues. When the parents' stories don't add up, the detectives must uncover what really happened to the missing baby, and the truth surprises everyone.


On Halloween night, Ali Martell's baby, Nate is missing after her car is stolen with the baby in it. The squad interrogates Ali and her boyfriend, Tim Holland, about what happened. Tim's short temper and Ali's timid behavior begin to make the detectives suspicious.

Ali's car is found abandoned and it is later discovered that a cooler they had contains fecal matter and soy formula in it, which makes the detectives believe that Ali and Tim put Nate in the cooler. Nick tries to get Ali to tell the truth about what really happened to Nate. Ali tells Nick that they stayed at a hotel in Binghamton the night before Nate disappeared.

When Fin and Amanda go to the hotel, they find out that Tim and Ali were arguing and drinking that night. Eventually, Ali draws Nick a map of where she and Tim buried their son. After 39 hours, Nate's body is found buried at Twin Island on Orchard Beach with his blanket and toy next to him.

After the autopsy, Warner tells the detectives that Nate wasn't abused in any way and she is still trying to figure out the cause of death. It is later revealed to be most likely from SIDS (or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Tim and Ali both confess to killing Nate in two different ways, but in the end, Nick tells Ali that Nate died of SIDS. Ali and Tim aren't charged and they are able to see each other again.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]



Amaro: That's my daughter. Everything's a negotiation.
Olivia: Gee, I wonder where she gets that from.

Dr. Warner (about Nate): The way he was buried, he was loved.

Ali Martell: I just want to go back and make it not happen.

Background information and notes[]

  • The baby, Nate, is said to be named after Buffalo Sabres hockey player Nathan Gerbe, who Rollins states "leads the Sabres in penalty minutes". Gerbe was on the Sabres at the time, but "has never been close to the team-lead in penalty minutes".[1]
  • In an interesting inversion of the "ripped from the headlines" format used by the Law & Order franchise, the disappearance of Sky Metalwala, a case extremely similar to the one depicted in the episode, happened two weeks after this episode's airing. There have been allegations that the prime suspect in the case, Metalwala's mother Julia Biryukova, directly copied the episode's plot while orchestrating her son's disappearance; the episode had indeed aired the night before, and Biryukova's husband claimed Law & Order was his wife's favorite show. As of January 2022, Sky Metalwala is still missing.

Episode scene cards[]

1 2 3

Special Victims Unit
3 Hours Missing

The Stuffed Monkey
132 Avenue C
4 Hours Missing

Home of
Moira Martell
642 Hopkins Street
Buffalo, New York
17 Hours Missing

4 5 6

Tompkins Square Park
24 Hours Missing

Binghamton Motor Lodge
857 Front Street
Binghamton, New York
33 Hours Missing

Twin Island
Orchard Beach
Bronx, New York
39 Hours Missing


Previous episode:
"Double Strands"
"Missing Pieces"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 13
Next episode:
"True Believers"
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