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Lost & Found
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Season 10
Number 21
Writer Corinne Marinan,
Elizabeth Devine
Director Frank Waldeck
Original Airdate May 6, 2010
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Lost & Found is the twenty-first episode in season ten of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The crime lab reopens the investigation of the disappearance of a woman's husband, daughter and son when a potential murder weapon is found in her car.

Plot

Victims: Janet Marsh (alive), Mike Marsh (missing), Emily Marsh (missing), Andy Marsh (missing)

On the case: entire team

A bride-to-be and her friends are driving down a highway, drinking and partying. After pulling alongside a trucker and flashing them, the girls are alerted to an oncoming car. They swerve out of the way and drive into the desert, where they hit a woman standing there holding a flashlight. The victim survives getting hit and is transported to the hospital. While the girls play the blame game, Langston and Nick take a look at their car, which has a flat front right tire and a shredded bumper.

In the hospital, Brass observes the victim from a distance with a concerned look on his face. Nick arrives and tells him that they found the woman's car abandoned about a mile from the scene. Before he can fill Brass in about the victim, Brass identifies her as Janet Marsh from Seven Hills. About three years ago, Janet's husband, Mike, and two kids, Andy and Emily, went missing; Mike's SUV was found abandoned along I-15 with blood inside. Nick points out that Janet was hit in the same stretch of road, and Brass figures that she was out looking for her family. Brass shows him a photo of the Marshes, telling him that it's a case he never let go. When Nick asks for details, Brass tells him that Janet came home from work, couldn't locate her family and called the police. The SUV was found abandoned with blood from both Janet's husband and daughter in the car, along with a bloody pajama top from her son. Despite the evidence, the case went cold.

In the desert, Greg comes across a flashlight with fresh blood on the grip and wonders if it belongs to Janet. Back in the hospital, Brass tells Nick that he liked Janet's brother, Bill Cornwell, for the murders. He ran a construction company with Mike and had a motive for murder; however, he had an alibi for the time everything occurred. After getting the OK from the doctor, Brass briefly talks to Janet before Nick comes in to document her injuries. After Brass leaves, Janet tells Nick that she was out in the desert following a lead. A reputable psychic told her that Andy was "dry, yet near water." Knowing that Vegas is built on underground springs, she got a map and discovered that there's a spring right where Mike's SUV was found. She can hear Andy calling out to her and believes that she's close to finding her son; however, she's never gotten the same premonition from her husband or daughter.

In the lab, Wendy processes the flashlight. When she disassembles, she finds dried blood and hair embedded in the ring around the lens. She tells Greg and the two conclude that the blood had to have come from an earlier event and that the impact had to have been hard enough to actually damage tissue. The blood and tissue come back to Andy, meaning that Janet has been searching for her son with the flashlight that quite possibly killed him. Janet is now the prime suspect, but Nick tells Catherine that he believes Janet is innocent.

Greg, Nick and Brass visit Janet in her home and inform her of the new evidence that was discovered. She confirms that she's had the flashlight for at least ten years and that she keeps it in a drawer in the kitchen. Greg and Nick make their way to the kitchen and pass a police scanner on the way, which Janet claims she never listens to. In the kitchen, Greg wonders why a random murderer would use a flashlight as a weapon instead of the knives on the counter. Since the flashlight was used, cleaned and put back in the drawer, it suggests that a family member of friend is responsible.

In the lab, Catherine and Langston go through the original case. Janet had come home from work at midnight that night, but waited four hours to call 911. This gave her four hours to kill her family, clean up, dispose of the bodies and dump the truck 23 miles from the house. Langston believes that this is too much for one person to do, suggesting that if Janet is guilty, she had help. Her phone records show that she called her brother twice a day, so it's possible she called him to help cover up the murders, as well. Bill's alibi at the time was solid, though, and a search of his home, office and car turned up nothing. Catherine and Langston discuss Janet's psyche, with Langston thinking that Janet's guilt drives her out to the desert, while Catherine believes it's a show to keep suspicion away from her.

Greg searches Emily's room, which is left just the way it was the day she went missing. He spots a mold of Emily's hands hanging on the wall; the fingerprints in the mold have ridge detail. Emily's journal is also found among some books on the floor. Meanwhile, Nick searches Andy's room, which is also pristine. He curiously finds that Janet has continued to renew her son's magazine subscriptions. Greg thumbs through Emily's journal and finds the last entry, which mentions her wish for an unidentified male to take her away. Nick says that Brass never mentioned that Emily had a boyfriend, and the CSIs figure that the boyfriend would know his way around the house. Since the journal doesn't even mention a name, they also wonder if the boyfriend is someone Emily's parents didn't approve of.

Brass and Janet walk alone, and she tells him that her belief is that her son is still alive. He responds that there's a difference between giving up and letting go, and tries to convince her to let go. Meanwhile, back at Janet's house, Bill pulls up and identifies himself to Nick. Nick asks him if he ever met any of Emily's boyfriends, but Bill replies that she never brought any home due to her protective father and rocky relationship with her mother. Langston arrives to assist, and he and Nick search the garage, which is also frozen in time. They spray luminol around the garage and find blood streaks on the wall leading from the attic. In the attic, they trace stain and its fluid trail to a U.S. Army footlocker. Nick spots a leaky pipe above it and remembers what the psychic told Janet. When they open the footlocker, they find Andy's mummified body inside; he's wearing pajama bottoms, which is consistent with the night he went missing. Nick calls Brass with the information. When he relays it to Janet, she breaks down upon realizing that her son was with her the entire time.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins can't confirm the identity of the mummified remains, but tells Langston that they're consistent with an average nine-year-old. The decay is consistent with a boy who's been dead approximately three years. Doc Robbins labels the cause of death as blunt force trauma to to the skull, and the wound appears to be compatible with an object the size and shape of the flashlight.

Ecklie tells Brass that the evidence has piled up against Janet - her son's body was in the attic and the murder weapon was in her possession. He suggests that Janet be taken into custody despite Brass' objections that she didn't kill her family. Though he's not removed from the case, Brass is denied access to interrogating Janet further.

With Brass watching from behind the glass, Nick and Ecklie question Janet about the footlocker. She recalls that it was used to house Andy's camping equipment and that the family had gone camping the summer before they disappeared. After returning home early from the camping trip, she says that she put the footlocker back in the attic. As Ecklie glares back at her, Janet loses it. She denies killing her family and says that she can't function properly, hiring psychics and going out in the middle of the night to look for them when she can't sleep.

Langston informs Greg that he was able to recover prints from the footlocker. A set of prints on the bottom panel came back to Mike; their position indicates that he was trying to pick the footlocker up. However, a print under the lid is not a match to any of their suspects. Langston says that they don't have any prints on file for the kids, and Greg remembers the mold of Emily's hands that was hanging up in her room. When they extract the prints from it and run it against the lid, they don't get a match. However, when the prints are run through AFIS, they're hit on a work card belonging to a Hope Wilson. She shares the same birthday as Emily and her current photo bears a striking resemblance to the missing girl.

Hope/Emily is arrested outside her Reno home and brought back to Vegas for interrogation. She also has a three year old son, Conner, who is put in the care of Child Protective Services. At the station, Nick gets Conner's DNA while Catherine questions and uncooperative Emily. She refuses to say where her father is or who Conner's father is. Catherine collects Emily's DNA in an effort to sort everything out.

Nick tells Langston that Emily's neighbors said that she was married to an older guy, Doug. Langston searches the Nevada birth records registry and confirms that Doug is Conner's father. Doug just happens to be about the same age as Mike would be currently, and when his photo is pulled up from the Nevada DMV records, his photo resembles that of Mike. They conclude that the father/daughter duo is living together as husband and wife and that Emily was pregnant before the family disappeared.

Brass informs Janet that Emily is safe and alive; however, things are getting complicated. Not only is Emily alive, but Mike is, as well. Emily also has a three-year-old son. Brass is interrupted and told that Mike is waiting for him at reception. He gives orders to an officer to escort Janet away from the area. Mike loudly tells Brass that Emily is innocent and he admits to killing Andy accidentally. When Janet overhears this, she wrestles a gun away from the officer, enters the hallway and shoots Mike in the chest, killing him. As Janet is handcuffed, Emily tearfully runs over to her father.

Greg discovers that Mike is not actually Conner's father and that the real father shares seven alleles in common with Janet - the father is actually Bill. Emily tells Catherine that she didn't want her uncle coming over to the house anymore, but Janet wouldn't hear it. One night, while Bill was babysitting, Andy caught Bill molesting Emily and threatened to tell their mother about it. Emily hit him in the head with the flashlight and killed him accidentally. When Mike came home, Emily told him everything that was going on and Mike decided that they would sever ties with the family. They put Andy's body in the footlocker, planted the bloody pajama top in the SUV, left it abandoned in the desert and left to start a new life.

Brass tells Janet that no charges will be filed against Emily. Janet handcuffed and taken into custody, while Bill is located and arrested. Nick reunites Conner with his mother. In his office, Brass looks at the Marsh family photo again and places it in the case file with Conner's DNA results.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Liz Vassey as Wendy Simms
  • Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie
  • Rick Worthy as Dr. Stewart
  • Larry M. Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Julia Campbell as Janet Marie Marsh
  • Mackenzie Mauzy as Emily Marsh/Hope Wilson
  • Chris McGarry as Mike Marsh
  • Christopher Shyer as Bill Cornwell
  • Crystal Reed as Julie
  • Christiann Castellanos as Brenda
  • Daniel Windhymm Hayes as Andy Marsh
  • Jet Jurgensmeyer as Conner Wilson
  • Camille Luddington as Claire
  • Alex Parlar as Nicholas Schumacher
  • Ranae Shrider as Sarah Spencer

Music

  • According to You by Orianthi

Notes

  • Wallace Langham (Hodges) is credited but does not appear in the episode.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 10
Family AffairGhost TownWorking StiffsCoup de GraceBloodsportDeath & The MaidenThe Lost GirlsLover's LanesAppendicitementBetter Off DeadSin City BlueLong BallInternal CombustionUnshockableNeverlandThe Panty SnifferIrradiatorField MiceWorld's EndTake My Life, Please!Lost & FoundDoctor WhoMeat Jekyll
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