Got it. I didn't really recognize any "ripped from the headlines" qualities in "Covenant" while watching it (though I did learn it was inspired by Susan Smith by reading about it on Wikipedia), and I'm guessing, from what I know about "19:19" (I haven't seen the second and third seasons yet), it's based on the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping.
As for the end, well, you got me. I'm guessing the media didn't know, or maybe they covered it up so they wouldn't look bad. I don't know, though. I haven't seen it in a while.
Also, I myself did like the episode.