Season 13
Number 18
Writer Michael F.X. Daley
Director Louis Milito
Original Airdate April 3, 2013
Previous Episode: Dead of the Class
Next Episode: Backfire

Sheltered is the eighteenth episode in Season Thirteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


When the CSIs find a body near a forest reserve, they discover what might be a serial killer and his bizarre lair.


Victim: Carl Abrams (deceased)

On the case: D.B. Russell, Greg Sanders, Julie Finlay, Morgan Brody, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Kevin Crawford

A young man is seen being chased through the woods by someone wearing night-vision goggles. He's soon attacked by his pursuer, and his body is later found wrapped in a camouflage tarp beneath an overpass. Morgan and Nick see that the victim took a beating to his face and sustained an animal bite to the leg, as well. Both of the victim's hands have been cut off, either to prevent identification or as trophies for the killer.

Sara accesses a traffic camera in the area of the body dump. She and Russell see the victim getting dumped and, when the photo is blown up, they see that the killer was wearing night-vision goggles. In autopsy, Finn and Greg discover that the victim was wearing a custom knee brace. Finn also finds a wad of paper in the victim's jeans pocket that turns out to be origami in the shape of a crane.

Doc Robbins determines that the victim was alive when his right hand was cut off; however, the removal of the left hand came postmortem. The bite on the leg isn't from an animal, and the doc believes that it came from a man-made bear trap. A synthetic green trace is also pulled from the postmortem wrist wound. All clues are pointing towards the killer being a hunter.

Finn processes the origami crane and recovers some fingerprints; however, she doesn't get any hits in AFIS. Hodges also strikes out, as the green trace is identified as common artificial turf, which doesn't exactly narrow down a location. He does convince Finn to examine the paper the origami was made from, as it doesn't appear to be proper origami paper.

The custom knee brace on the victim traces back to a Dylan Trigg. Morgan and Det. Crawford head to Summerlin to speak to Dylan's father, Edward. They're surprised when they find out Dylan is still alive, and they speak to him outside. Dylan says he loaned his motocross gear to his friend, Carl Abrams, a few days ago and that they had made plans to go camping at Koval Ridge. However, Dylan bailed on the trip because of the area, which he says is full of people waiting for the end of the world. Carl loved the spot, though, camping by himself and exploring the old mines.

Morgan and Nick search some of the area, while Det. Crawford and his men search the south side of the ridge. Nick gives his dog, Sam, a piece of Carl's clothing to pick up a scent on. Sam leads the CSIs to a set of storm doors buried under the sand; the doors have blood on them. When they open the doors, they find more blood leading down the stairs. Motion-sensor lights alert the CSIs to several army fatigues hung up on hooks, complete with night-vision goggles. As Morgan heads back outside to radio Crawford, Nick ventures further inside and finds that the bunker is fully decorated and even has electricity. Soon, the bunker's owner shows up and points a shotgun at the back of Nick's head. The situation is diffused when Morgan comes down and holds the man at gunpoint.

At the police station, the man refuses to identify himself; he has no form of identification and nothing was found in his bunker to identify him. When shown a picture of Carl, the man denies knowing who he is.

Back at the bunker, Greg and Morgan find evidence of blood in a spot on the artificial turf. There's a large blood pool underneath that tests positive for blood. The turf is consistent with the trace found in Carl's wound, and the CSIs conclude that he was killed in the bunker. In the master bedroom, Sara finds a chest filled with guns, while Finn discovers a bedroom designed for a young girl. There are women's clothes of all sizes in the closet, and the CSIs guess they're trophies from the man's kills. They also find a display case that contains several pieces of origami, and they wonder if the man makes one for each of this victims.

While the man continues to profess his innocence and denies knowing Carl, Finn and Sara process the bedroom. They find evidence of sexual activity on the sheets, but there's no blood on the floor. The CSIs are soon alerted to a sound coming from the vent, and it starts to get faster and move away from them; someone is trying to escape. They soon confront a young woman in the bunker's living room and see that she's rather unkempt.

In interrogation, Nick and Russell accuse the man of kidnapping the woman, raping her, and holding her captive. She's identified as Rebecca Barnes, and her DNA is on one of the dresses from the closet; it traces to an unsolved murder in Carson City 11 years ago. The man admits that Rebecca was his wife and that the young woman that was found is his daughter, Miranda.

The man in custody is identified as Tommy Barnes. Ten years ago, Rebecca Barnes was abducted from a mall parking lot when Miranda was seven years old, and the girl was there when it happened. Tommy was the primary suspect until he was cleared, and the murder went unsolved. After his world was shattered, Tommy took his daughter and moved into the bunker previously built by his grandfather. The clothes in Miranda's room only have her and her mother's DNA on them; Tommy kept his wife's clothes and bought his daughter new clothes as she grew up. While this is all paints a sad tale, it still doesn't clear Tommy of murder.

Russell starts over again with Tommy, removing his handcuffs and apologizing for his earlier allegations. Tommy explains that he takes odd jobs in the area and provides Miranda with everything she needs. However, there's still the question of Carl's blood in the bunker and the two male DNA contributions on Miranda's bed. Tommy denies killing anybody and insists that his daughter wouldn't leave the bunker on her own and come back with boys. He realizes that he's being railroaded by the cops again and stops talking.

In the hospital, Finn talks to Miranda and tries to get her to open up about her sexual activity. Miranda replies that she's never been with any boys. Finn theorizes that the girl met Carl and had a good time; however, when the other unknown boy (a "bad boy") came into her life, she got in a little over her head. This doesn't go anywhere, as Miranda refuses to open up. Back in Russell's office, Finn's belief is that Miranda is the key to finding out who the mystery boy is. The team needs to go back to the bunker and search for anything that can identify him, such as a diary.

Before the team can go back to the bunker, however, they're stopped by Tommy's attorney, Jill McDermott. She informs Finn and Russell that the bunker was illegally searched, despite the presence of blood at the bunker's entrance. As it turns out, the Barnes estate donated much of the land in the area, but it still retains the mineral rights. This means that anything underground is private property. Any evidence collected in the bunker will be thrown out of court, so the team needs to go about solving the case a different way.

Hodges processes the paper from the origami crane and finds that it's an MRE ("Meals-Ready-to-Eat") packaging label. There's a barcode on the bottom of the label that leads the team to the Koval Ridge Supply Store. Morgan and Nick visit the store, seeing that it's stocked with military gear, including fatigues and night-vision goggles. One of the employees emerges and identifies himself as Luke Holland. He doesn't recognize either Carl or Miranda from their photos, but Morgan finds an origami crane and some bloody fatigues behind the counter. Luke tries to run, but is caught outside when his bike won't start—the bike is Carl's.

The blood on the outside of the fatigues is a match to Carl, and the assumption is that the DNA on the inside will match Luke. In interrogation, Luke admits to getting rid of Carl's body, but insists that he didn't kill him. He explains that when he was saying goodbye to Miranda that night, Carl stumbled into the area bleeding; his hand had been cut off. After Carl died, Luke says he cut the other hand off to prevent the body from being identified. He dumped the body on the edge of town and cleaned up Carl's campsite. Russell comes up with his own theory, believing that Luke, Carl and Miranda were involved in a love triangle, and Luke committed murder to have Miranda all to himself. Luke denies this and reveals that Carl was gay—and his boyfriend was Dylan Trigg.

In the desert, Greg and Sara follow motorcycle tracks that match the tires on Carl's bike. There are two sets of shoe impressions in the sand; one set matches the shoes Carl was wearing. The impressions indicate that Carl was running from someone who was wearing work boots. Where the tracks stop, the CSIs find a rusty bear trap with blood on it hidden in some nearby brush. Not far away, Sara comes across Carl's severed hand; it's riddled with buckshot pellets, and there's blood and tissue under the fingernails.

When questioned again by Morgan and Nick, Dylan confirms that he was in a relationship with Carl. He says he didn't admit it earlier because he hasn't come out yet. The two fought about the fact that Dylan kept his sexuality private, but Dylan says that he would never hurt Carl. Morgan believes him, as he was the one who sent the CSIs to Koval Ridge. Upon seeing his father pull up in his truck, Dylan suddenly clams up and asks for a lawyer.

At the station, Russell provides Edward Trigg with a confession his son wrote. Dylan says that his father admitted to assaulting and hunting down Carl, shooting him, and leaving him for dead. Edward denies this, saying that his son is confused thanks to the ideas Carl put into his head. The evidence, however, is overwhelming—a tire track found on a road near the crime scene matches the tires on Edward's truck, trace in Carl's hand wound matches the shotgun and ammunition in Edward's home, and Edward's DNA is under Carl's fingernails. Edward angrily admits to killing Carl in order to prevent his son from being in a homosexual relationship. "My son was born to be a man," he says. Russell replies that Dylan proved his manhood by signing the confession.

Tommy and Miranda reunite, where she apologizes for sneaking out of the bunker to meet kids her own age. She believes that everything is her fault because she did so, but Tommy tells his daughter that they need to start trusting people again. He vows to have them leave the bunker behind and move to Oregon to be closer to family.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Kate Danson as Jill McDermott
  • Alimi Ballard as Detective Kevin Crawford
  • Dalton Day as Carl Abrams
  • Paul Johansson as Edward Trigg
  • Cameron Deane Stewart as Dylan Trigg
  • Neal McDonough as Tommy Barnes
  • Rebecca Forsythe as Miranda Barnes
  • Blair Redford as Luke Holland
  • Jennefer Folsom as Rebecca Barnes


  • Jon Wellner (Henry) and Paul Guilfoyle (Brass) are credited but do not appear in the episode.
  • This is the first appearance of Kate Danson as attorney Jill McDermott. Kate is the daughter of Ted Danson, who plays D.B. Russell.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 13
Karma to BurnCode Blue Plate SpecialWild FlowersIt Was a Very Good YearPlay DeadPick and RollFallen AngelsCSI on FireStrip MaulRisky Business ClassDead AirDouble FaultIn Vino VeritasExileForget Me NotLast Woman StandingDead of the ClassShelteredBackfireFearlessGhosts of the PastSkin in the Game