In a spur of the moment decision, Marion Crane decides to leave Phoenix with the $40,000 her boss entrusted to her to deposit at the bank. She's headed to her boyfriend Sam in Fairvale, California and the money will finally let them start their life together. After having spent a night in her car, she can't quite make all the way and spends her second night at the Bates Motel. There she meets Norman Bates, a shy and withdrawn young man who seems to be dominated by his mother. They chat for a while and as a result she decides to go back to Phoenix and return the money. She's still going to spend the night at the motel and decides to have a shower before going to bed. A week later Marion's sister arrives at Sam's store in Fairvale to tell him Marion has disappeared. Together with a private detective, Milton Arbogast, they begin searching the area and eventually come across the Bates Motel.