While driving, Booth and Brennan discuss Brennan's financial situation. The partners aren't exactly in the same tax bracket.
Booth and Brennan arrive on scene of a roadside accident. A car has been run off the road and inside are the charred remains of the driver. Brennan is able to determine the victim, a female, in her early twenties, was doused with gasoline before being set on fire. She also notices the woman had given birth. As she continues looking over the body, Booth hears a faint sound in the background. The scene goes quiet. Booth follows the sound to a tree. Looking up, he sees a car seat perched amongst the branches. In the car seat, a baby.
Booth holds the baby boy. Brennan requests the vinyl seat and driver's door be brought back to the Jeffersonian. When the partners attempt to change the child's diaper, Brennan finds a key hidden in the diaper bag. Booth searches for an evidence bag and Brennan is left alone with the crying baby. Booth returns to find Brennan placed the key right next to the baby. The key is now missing and it looks as if the baby swallowed it. The infant's going to need to stay with the partners until he returns the evidence.
In the lab, Cam, Angela and Zack hover over the baby. Seeing that she's registered as a foster parent, Brennan is now the official custodian of the child. When Hodgins runs a metal detector over the baby it's confirmed: he ate the key. Brennan enters and wants the team to get back to work, reminding them the child is not a play thing. Angela agrees to watch over the little guy while the rest of the squints examine the victim.
Agent Charlie enters Booth's office with the news that the burnt car belonged to a dead man. The car was sold for scrap at a junkyard in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. It was sold, most likely, to somebody wanting to stay off the grid.
In the autopsy room, Brennan, Cam and Zack go over the remains. The victim died as a result of the crash, not the fire. Brennan wants an isotope analysis done on the bones to determine where the victim lived. Angela enters with a diaper full of pink poop. The squints are puzzled. Cam agrees to check it out. While Angela goes off to start the facial reconstruction of the victim, Brennan volunteers to watch over the baby.
Baby monitor in hand, Brennan walks with Booth through the lab. Hodgins catches up with them. He's found strontium in the bone. The isotope tells Hodgins the victim is from Northern West Virginia, Tucker County to be exact. The baby monitor goes off and Brennan is confused. She's fed him, changed him and patted him yet he still complains. And while Booth and she argue over who is going to go get the baby, Angela enters with the source of the debate. Angela's also got a facial rendering and Brennan is quick to notice the multiple genetic similarities between the rendering and the child. The DNA tests are still out, but she's comfortable confirming the victim is the child's mother.
Booth and Brennan drive through the dilapidated town of Huntsville. It's practically a ghost town, but Booth can see the real estate value of the place. He recommends Brennan build herself a place on the river, so he can come over and fish. His financial advice does not interest Brennan. As she looks to the baby in the back seat, Brennan comments on how he's all alone: nobody filed a missing report for the child, nobody is concerned about him. Nobody but Brennan, Booth points out.
Booth, Brennan and baby stop at a small, run down home to speak with Paul, the owner. He feels the government is to blame for Huntsville's condition. Nothing was done to help when the town's bridge washed out years ago and took the local economy with it. Paul's wife, Dorothy, comes out and immediately recognizes the baby as Andy. The couple up the street, Jimmy and Carol Grant, watch him when his mother's at work. Dorothy recognizes the facial rendering of the mother but thinks the partners should speak with the Grants.
Booth and Brennan go to the Grant residence to speak with Jimmy and Carol. Booth shows the couple the facial rendering and they confirm: it's Meg Taylor, Andy's mother. Andy's father, Lou, left the two of them shortly after Andy was born. Reportedly, the man was a deadbeat, a drunk, always in and out of jail. Meg worked hard for her boy, and the Grants were happy to watch over Andy while she did. Meg worked down at Fallbrook Rubber, one of the only places left to work in town. Jimmy and Carol hint at their lives before the bridge washed away. Jimmy used to teach at the high school while Carol worked as a project manager.
Booth and Brennan drive through the run-down town. Everything is closed. With the bridge gone, the traffic had to be routed another way, taking the town's customers in another direction. Cam calls with news on Andy's pink poop. She's found Andy had Phenobarbital, a drug used to treat seizures, in his system. It's possible he's epileptic.
Booth and Brennan pull up to Meg's trailer to find the front door open. And as Booth exits the car, with his gun drawn, he instructs Brennan to stay back with the baby.
Booth enters the trailer to find a man tearing the place apart. The man starts to run but Booth quickly grabs and cuffs him.
While Booth's in the trailer, Brennan waits outside with the baby. She tries some "visual and auditory stimulation" to get him to stop crying.
Back in the trailer, Booth speaks with the man, who turns out to be Lou, Meg's husband. Booth tells Lou that Meg's dead and he wants to know where Lou was last night. Lou has trouble recalling.
As Brennan and her "dancing phalanges" quiet Andy down, Booth arrives with Lou in cuffs. Lou admits to breaking into his wife's place but he didn't kill her: she took care of him.
Back at the lab, Angela shows Cam her mock-up of the key Andy ate. The closest match to the design is used in safe deposit boxes. And Angela is going to hunt for banks near Huntsville that may use those keys.
Back at Meg's trailer, the FBI has just finished sweeping the place and Brennan discovers the Phenobarbital was prescribed to Andy from a clinic fifty miles away. On a wall calendar Booth notices Meg had a doctor's appointment in D.C. scheduled for the day she died. Brennan wants Andy's medical records, along with the prescription, sent to the Jeffersonian. Zack calls Brennan with an update on the victim. Compression fractures on her vertebrae tell Zack that Meg was malnourished. She also had a slight bowing of her legs and boney outgrowths along some of her muscle attachments.
At Meg's trailer, Brennan questions why the single mother, with all her bone conditions, wouldn't have been taking any pain killers. Booth thinks it's because she didn't want it affecting her breast milk. Brennan imagines the level of pain Meg must have constantly been in, with her condition and her labor intensive job.
Booth and Brennan go to Fallbrook Rubber Company to speak with Chip Barnett, Meg's boss. Chip's surprised to hear of Meg's death; she was tougher than half the guys in the place. Terry and Rich, a couple of workers, overhear the conversation and offer up their opinions. They bring up Dave Shepard, a slime ball corporate accountant recently in Huntsville "cutting costs" at the factory. He and Meg may have had something going on.
As Booth, Brennan and Andy head back to the car, Booth talks on his cell phone. Lou couldn't have killed Meg; he was in jail at the time. Booth orders checks on all the factory employees and wants the contact info for Dave Shepard. Booth thinks the killer's prints may be in the trailer. He's got a feeling the killer is looking for the key that Andy swallowed.
Booth changes Andy's diaper as Brennan washes off the freshly passed key. Through a video link, Brennan reads the numbers on the key to Angela. Angela searches a database of combinations and comes up with a match. The key is from Green Hills Bank in Petersburg, West Virginia. Booth picks up Andy and Brennan notices the child's legs are bowed. She asks Zack to run a Pratio test on Meg's teeth. Booth wants to stop by Family Services and drop Andy off, now that they've got the key back. But Brennan is having a problem with that. She's been in the same situation and she isn't going to let Andy go until she's satisfied he's somewhere safe.
The partners arrive at the Great Hills bank where Booth uses the key to open a safe deposit box. Inside is a handgun.
In the bank, Brennan takes samples from the handgun. She's found a sticky residue on the trigger and a foreign object in the barrel. She can also tell it was fired recently. Booth knows Meg didn't have a gun legally registered to her, and the serial numbers have been filed off. Brennan thinks finding a public pool in the area may be able to help lead them to the killer.
Jimmy leads the partners to the town's abandoned public pool equipment shed. While Jimmy holds onto Andy, Brennan searches through some chemicals. She pulls out a bottle of Muriatic Acid. By mixing it with the metal on the gun, she's able to restore the filed off serial number.
Booth interrogates Earl Delancy, the owner of the gun. He used to work at Fallbrook Rubber, but was let go. The gun was registered to Earl, but he swears he hasn't seen it for a couple of years. He pawned it. Earl's hard to believe, seeing as his rap sheet is checkered with physical assaults on his boss and on Dave Shepard. The pawn shop looks to be a dead end because, like the rest of the town, it closed down.
In the lab, Zack indentifies the foreign objects in the gun as bone fragments. Brain tissue on the fragments tells him the gun was used to shoot somebody point blank in the head. Hodgins tells Zack that the sticky residue on the trigger is burnt skin. He's going to send it off to Cam to get the DNA.
Booth enters Brennan's office to find her feeding Andy a bottle while she's on hold with a congressman. She's calling in a few favors to get the bridge to Huntsville fixed. There's still no word on Andy's medical records, though. Cam enters with news on the burnt skin from the gun. It's male. Which means either Meg was an accomplice, or she witnessed the murder, and, after getting her hands on the weapon, hid it. Booth gets a call: Dave Shepard has been tracked down after using his credit card to check into a motel. The Huntsville police have just picked him up.
Booth goes to the county jailhouse. He walks into the interrogation room to find a homeless man instead of Dave Shepard. The homeless man found Shepard's credit card in a blood-streaked duffle bag, in a dumpster.
While Booth is out hunting for Dave Shepard, Brennan and Cam are back at the lab. Cam finishes running the blood from the duffle bag and the brain matter from the bone fragments against the samples in CODIS. The blood is Shepard's. He isn't the killer; he's the victim. Brennan gives Angela a crushed flashdrive from Shepard's duffle bag, in hopes of recovering whatever was on it.
Hodgins is in the Ookey room when Angela enters. She wants to make sure Hodgins wants kids. And he tells her he wants a million, just like she does, and he'll love her no matter what she looks like after birthing all those children. Hodgins' computer beeps with the results of a dust particulate test. The gun was used at Fallbrook Rubber Company.
Booth and Brennan go back to the rubber factory. Brennan notices a large tire mulching machine. A perfect machine for disposing of a body. They'll need to search the mulch from the day Shepard went missing.
Terry takes Booth and Brennan to the mulch pile. Brennan mixes the shredded rubber mulch with some water and continues the test through multiple piles. In each test the pieces of rubber float in the water, until she comes across a bag where the rubber floats and a piece of bone drops to the bottom of the container.
Booth wants the place shut down immediately. Anglea calls with news on the crushed flashdrive. Dave Shepard, the accountant, had a different set of numbers for the factory than the numbers reported to corporate: he'd discovered somebody was stealing. It's probably why he and Meg were killed. Booth and Brennan go to speak with Chip, and find he's left.
Chip hops in his car and races off. Booth cuts him off and chases him. Chip drives in reverse as Booth advances on him. Chip slams into a fence and hops out, making a break for it on foot. He doesn't get far and Booth cuffs him. Chip admits to everything. He says he stole the money to save his family, and Dave was going to out him. Meg wanted money to keep quiet about the murder; that's why Chip ran her off the road.
Brennan is in her office with Andy when Booth enters. He's got a note the FBI Techs discovered in Meg's car. The note is to Carol Grant. Cam enters with Andy's medical condition. He has a mild form of rickets, but he's going to be okay.
In the FBI conference room, Carol reads the letter. Meg wanted Carol and Jimmy to take care of Andy if anything were to happen to her. As Carol reads the letter, Jimmy signs adoption papers. Brennan hands Andy over to his new parents.
Booth and Brennan park in the park to have a cup of coffee. Both admit to missing Andy. And as Booth jokes with her about not having much of a child bearing window left, he spills coffee on a folder. In the folder is paperwork pertaining to the rebuilding of the Huntsville bridge. Brennan is going to use her own money to rebuild it and she's hired Carol Grant to manage the project. Booth jokes about Andy missing his Aunty Bones and how she should really consider building that second home on the lake... Booth needs a place to go fishing and a place to watch an extra large plasma TV. Brennan shoves a pacifier in his mouth to shut him up.