The diary entries of a confused 11-year-old girl led to police uncovering an incest scandal that has shocked America.
The sordid tale began when Katie Pladl turned eighteen and decided to track down the biological parents who gave her up for adoption in 1998.
Mum Alyssa told how she received an email out of the blue from Katie that she thought was spam.
It read: "Don’t know if you’re ok with this or not but I thought I’d give it a shot. hi."
But after Katie sent another email with links to results from a genealogy website Alyssa and husband Steven Pladl realised it was true.
The first reunion between Steven and Alyssa and Katie in the summer of 2016 was a success and within months, she had moved into the family home in Richmond, West Virginia.
But months later, things started to go wrong when Alyssa moved out and formally separated from Steven, taking their two younger daughters with her.
She says at that point in November 2016 she had no idea what was going on between Steven and Katie although he had begun sleeping on her bedroom floor.
Then in May 2017, Alyssa told how Steven called to say their 11-year-old was misbehaving during visits with her father.
He passed on the girl’s journal and it was only then the sickening truth emerged.
Alyssa told DailyMailTV how her daughter had written: "Katie is pregnant. Dad says they feel like couples. Did they get a little too drunk that night? My dad is a slut.
"He’s Satan. He’s f***ing SATAN.
"He’ll go to hell but he won’t be the one getting tortured, he’ll be the one torturing people."
The girl added: "Wait one second if he’s Satan and Katie is a human then the baby will be half demon."
Alyssa believes Steven wanted her to find out via the journal because he was too cowardly to tell her himself.
Unsurprisingly, she said her reaction was of utter horror.
"I lost it. I started screaming. I felt like I was going to throw up," she told the Mail.
When confronted by Alyssa, Steven admitted he was in a relationship with Katie and said her adoptive family had been unhappy at first but had since "come to accept it".
It was around this time that Steven and Katie moved around 150 miles together to Knightdale, North Carolina.
Steven told his other children they should start referring to Katie as their "step-mom".
He also told Alyssa in a phone call that he and Katie planned to marry.
She alerted police and in November last year, warrants were issued for their arrest.
But it wasn’t until last month that the couple were finally tracked down and charged with incest with adult, adultery, contributing to delinquency.
A baby boy, believed to be Steven and Katie’s son, was found with them.
He is believed to have been born last September and Katie posted a picture of a baby boy on her Facebook page around that time with the caption "Carolina air".
Friends responded with comments such as "Oh my god he is so beautiful".
As recently as January 18, Katie posted a picture of her father Steven feeding his son on Instagram with the caption: "First Feeding #firstsolidfood #baby #fatherandson "
In July last year, Katie posted an image of the pair kissing with the tag which implied they were married.
The picture was tagged "Katie and Steven, July 20th" and Katie added: "Nothing fancy, just love #justmarried #simplewedding #pregnancy "
Alyssa says she blames her ex-husband for the horrendous turn of events and describes Katie as a victim.
"Even though she was an adult at the time, he was the father and he should have stopped any feelings between them," said Alyssa.
"That is all on him."