Daddy’s Deadly Secret: Lifetime Movie is Inspired by a Real Case

Directed by Sean Cisterna, ‘Daddy’s Deadly Secret’ tells the mysterious story surrounding the disappearance of Abigail, one which questions everything we know about her parents and her past. Richard and Ellie are divorced but maintain a cordial relationship when it comes to co-parenting their daughter, Abigail. Richard has even found love again with his fiancée, Caroline. However, their world is turned upside down when Abigail fails to return home from school one day. Richard makes a frantic call to Ellie and comes to the horrifying realization: Abigail is nowhere to be found.

As Richard and Caroline delve deeper into the mystery surrounding Abigail’s disappearance, they uncover shocking revelations that suggest Abigail may never have existed at all. The Lifetime movie spins a web of unimaginable deceit and betrayal surrounding the disappearance of Abigail, leaving us questioning whether the film is based on a true story.

Daddy’s Deadly Secret is Inspired by the Case of Tyler Hardy

Penned by Leo McGuigan, ‘Daddy’s Deadly Secret’ draws several parallels with the real-life missing persons case of Tyler Hardy, a boy who never existed. England, 2017, the police received a call from a man called John, who wanted to report his son missing. He said that his ex-partner had stopped allowing him to see their son, Tyler Hardy, and cut off all contact. It had been two years since he had last seen Tyler and was concerned for his safety. He gave his ex-partner’s name, Tracey Hardy, and her last known address.

Image Credit: BBC/YouTube

Police officers contacted Tracey Hardy and conveyed John’s apprehensions to her. To their puzzlement, Tracey outright denied having any knowledge of John or their child. To confirm John’s account, the officer pulled up records of a custody court case he had referenced, and sure enough, all his information added up. The case was two years old, exactly when John claimed that Tracey had cut him off from their son’s life and had records of Tracey denying knowledge of the man or their son. Contacting her again, the police received a similar response as Tracey claimed that John was a weird man who had lurked outside her apartment and was making the entire thing up.

However, John produced a photograph of himself, Tracey, and their son playing together. When Tracey came in for questioning voluntarily, she was asked if she recognized the people in the photo. She agreed that she knew John as her ex-partner and had lied about him on the phone since she was indisposed at the time. But she said that she was too drunk at the time of the photograph to remember who the child was, stating that it was probably a relative of his. The case confounded the officers at the police station, and they tracked down Tracey’s 16-year-old daughter to gain further information. The girl revealed that the child in the photo was the son of Tracey’s friend and that she would often spend time with him.

Further questioning and investigation revealed that John had broken up with Tracey over text. To get revenge and money, Tracey informed John that she was pregnant with his child and, months later, presented Tyler as their son. John became immediately attached to Tyler upon seeing him and visited him often. John kept paying child support to Tracey and eventually fought for custody of Tyler in court. When challenged with legal proceedings, Tracey cut off all contact and denied any affiliation with him.

Tracey Hardy was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to two years in prison in April 2017. John was devastated to learn of the betrayal. He had grown very fond of Tyler and had even kept his first pair of shoes alongside other memorabilia. He even wrote to Tyler’s actual parents, saying, “’I need to tell you how much light and joy he brought into my family, my life and outlook on life. We loved him and we still love him. It has been the biggest shock of my life finding out that he was not my son. I can’t describe how devastated I was and I don’t think I’ll ever get over this. You must be smashing parents to have such a smashing boy.”

‘Daddy’s Deadly Secret’ takes inspiration from the astounding story of Tyler Hardy’s disappearance and presents us with a narrative full of twists and turns, much like the real-life case. The Lifetime movie is ultimately a work of fiction written by Leo McGuigan and brought to life by Sean Cisterna and his production team.

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