On April 14‚ 1989‚ Ramon Salcido went on a killing spree in Sonoma County‚ California‚ shooting and killing his wife‚ Angela‚ her two younger sisters‚ his wife's mother‚ and the man he suspected Angela of having an affair with. He then slashed the throats of his three young daughters-four-year-old Sophia‚ three-year-old Carmina‚ and twenty-two-month-old Teresa-leaving them for dead in the county dump. It was called the worst mass murder in Sonoma County history and garnered national media attention. Thirty hours later‚ the bodies of his young daughters were discovered by searchers. Miraculously‚ tiny Carmina was still alive and able to tell her rescuers‚ "My daddy cut me."
And yet‚ astonishingly‚ that was only the beginning of Carmina's troubles. After being released from the hospital‚ Carmin's maternal grandfather-too distraught to care for her himself-agreed to give her up for adoption by a prominent family known for their involvement in TFP‚ a radical separatist Catholic movement. She would spend the rest of her childhood at their remote Western ranch‚ wearing antiquated clothing‚ prohibited from contact with non-TFP families‚ and suffering years of emotional isolation and abuse. She escaped from them only by joining a Catholic convent-yet the increased isolation pushed her to the point of emotional breakdown. Finally‚ she was invited to join a "boot camp" for troubled girls-where the treatment she and other girls received was so traumatic that she finally decided to leave altogether and enter adulthood on her own.
Finally‚ in her early twenties‚ Carmina returned to Sonoma County-to reconnect with the people who know her‚ to learn from her history‚ and to share her harrowing story with the world. She also returned to California for another reason: to look into her father's eyes on Death Row. The results were as complex and troubling as the rest of her life-yet ultimately they gave her the closure she needed to move on with her life.
In Not Lost Forever‚ Salcido takes us on a miraculous journey of survival‚ discovery‚ and hope‚ leaving the reader in awe of her grace and courage.