When Tanya Rider disappeared Sept. 19, 2007, her husband, Tom, fought to get police to start a search for her.
Eight days later her car was found in a ravine and she was trapped inside. The Washington state woman was injured and dehydrated, but was fighting for her life. "Missing Without a Trace: 8 Days of Horror" tells the story of her ordeal.
Read an excerpt of the book below and then check out the "GMA" Library for more great reads.
Tiny puffs of air squeeze up through my left nostril. My chest… My chest is constricted. What's wrong with me? I fight to expand my lungs, to suck in a breath. Something is pressing into my chest, holding me down. My lungs! I can't breathe! It feels like small, sandwich-bag sacks of air are hanging in my lungs. I cling to them but my body collapses forward, against my captor.
Bound on one side, I beg for release. "Let me go, you monster!" I gasp. "Where are you? I can feel you but I don't hear you! Still, I know you are there!"
I can't talk anymore. My chest is gagging, half-silencing my breathing. Everything hurts. I slow myself to suck in precious air—air for battle.
"Help me!" I scream. "Someone? Can't you hear me? Help me!"
My eyes flutter open and it seems as if all of my long dark hair is in my face. My eyelashes flutter against the tangled mess. My head is killing me and I can't hold my eyes open. They slam shut, but the images linger.
Where am I? Why is my head is hanging at this weird angle? I am sideways, I can tell. And I feel an awful, constant pressure digging into my body. God, it hurts. I struggle again to take a breath. I can only take in a tiny wisp of air but it is filled with pain that shoots through every fiber of my body. Still, I need more air. With a weak exhale, I feel a little cloud of steam drift onto my cheek as I hang there, strangled by my captor. Sweet drool runs out of the corner of my mouth.
With my right arm, I reach out blindly. I want to feel my surroundings. I feel hard curves, twisted forms, raw edges, and a strange, soft pillow—all of it dotted with bits of broken glass. I cannot tell what these shapes represent, but it is a mess.
Where am I? Right against my chest, my hand runs into something, an object, an arc, like a hard, circle-shaped hose. I run my fingers slowly across it. Can it be? A steering wheel? Each breath cuts through my breastbone and I strain to pull in air. I run my hand along the thing, try to assure myself that it really is a car's steering wheel.
Tom Rider was tired, always tired. He and Tanya worked hard, and that's about all they did. Like ships in the night, they didn't even see each other much. He barely had time to nap, let alone spend much time with Tanya, because she worked two jobs herself and her shifts were opposite his. Pretty much, they only got to see each other when their days off coincided. Their lifestyle was kind of lonely, but they were determined. They had set their sights on their goal—their dream home—and they were working hard to get it.
They'd had a quick conversation the night before. Tanya had called after ten on Wednesday night, before she started her nightshift. Tom had to work late so he was spending the night at work, and he'd already crashed. When Tanya called, she woke him up.
"What're you doing?" she asked.
"Sleeping," he grumbled.