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It's been seven months since Prentiss' death, and three months since JJ returned to the unit to fill Prentiss' empty position. Ever since Prentiss' death, Morgan had been working to find and capture Prentiss' murderer, Ian Doyle, first unsanctioned but then within the scope of the team but still without any government authority. It is because of that unsanctioned nature that the team members individually are appearing at a senate committee hearing into the case, which led to the death of two agents. Morgan felt the best way to locate Doyle was to locate his son, Declan, who Prentiss spent the better part of her post-Interpol life protecting. Morgan did find Declan. But Declan went missing shortly thereafter. The team didn't believe Doyle kidnapped Declan, but rather enemies of Doyle's did. Hotch decided that one person could have special insight into the case, and made a unilateral decision to bring her in much like the unilateral decision he made without the team's knowledge seven months earlier.