The Promise is the seventeenth episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
The Promise
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 17
Writer Alex Berry
Director Brad Tanenbaum
Original Airdate March 30, 2023
Previous Episode: We All Fall Down
Next Episode: Fractured


When the body of a young girl who was killed over 40 years ago is discovered at the bottom of Lake Mead, Max promises her mother, Raquel Williams, that the CSI team will finally find justice for her daughter.


Victim: Phoebe Williams (deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Greg Sanders, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby, Penny Gill, Det. Serena Chavez

A treasure-seeking diver swims along the bottom of Lake Mead with a metal detector looking for anything valuable. After bagging a license plate, he comes across a large, steel barrel. The diver, Jeremiah Beck, is next seen talking to the local news—the barrel he came across contained human remains. When the barrel is opened, the team sees that the skeletal remains are small enough to belong to a child. Items recovered along with the remains are a shoe, a glove, barrettes, a pink sweatshirt, clumps of brown hair, and a 1982-issued dollar bill in a plastic bag.

Back at the lab, former CSI Greg Sanders has returned to temporarily fill in for the lab's nightshift supervisor. Max enlists him for help with their current case, which includes contacting a forensic anthropologist. That would be Dr. Heather Chumani, who identifies the victim as a female aged eight to ten. There's an outer scrape along the skull that Dr. Chumani believes occurred right around the time of the girl's death. The girl's likeness is recreated using an indeterminate skin color; Penny explains to Det. Chavez that when a victim's race is unknown, a forensic artist uses a blend of all skin pigmentations.

While processing the steel barrel, Greg collects a piece of blue trace from its lip. Beau spots some kind of marking; upon getting rid of the rust, they find a stamp from the Salt Mine Company. Two employees of the company identify the type of barrel, saying that it hasn't been used since the late 1970s/early 1980s. They insist that the barrel could've come from anywhere in the world and/or that it could've been stolen by one of the employees. Nevertheless, Det. Chavez asks for a duty roster from the late '70s.

In autopsy, Dr. Hudson estimates the victim's height and weight at 4'4", 60 to 70 pounds. There are no irregular, identifying features in the bones. He soon fixates on the victim's right capitate and hamate bones; a gunshot seems to have gone through the wrist. There's also a bullet hole in the right scapula, indicating that the bullet was a through and through. All of this points to the victim being shot at close range. Dr. Hudson has Max put up her right hand; she realizes that the victim was doing the same thing when she was shot, as if she was protecting herself or someone else. Max is clearly disturbed by this revelation.

The blue substance from the barrel is identified as a combination of aluminum, sheeting, and paint. Unfortunately, DNA from the clumps of hair recovered were too degraded for a sample. However, Penny identifies a Sunday school patch on the victim's sweatshirt; when combined with the patent leather shoes recovered, she believes their victim was killed before or after church. Greg compares the two rhinestone barrettes recovered and sees that the metal on one is burnt and twisted, which unlikely happened from years of underwater corrosion. Finally, Penny examines the hole in the glove and determines that it lines up with the hole in the victim's wrist bone. The bigger hole is in the back, which means the bullet exited out the back of the hand. This supports the theory that the victim had her hand up when she was being shot.

Det. Chavez visits Plymouth Baptist Church and passes out flyers, explaining to the pastor that they're looking into every church that's been around since the '80s. A woman picks a flyer out of the trash and studies it; she's next seen walking through the lab. She demands to speak with the person in charge, and Folsom guides her to Max's office. The woman, Raquel Williams, knows every intricate detail about the case and identifies the girl from the flyer as her daughter, Phoebe.

Raquel, who is in deteriorating physical health, is upset over the misrepresentation of her daughter's likeness despite Max explaining the procedures for recreating a victim's unknown race. She tells Raquel that the flyer is what helped identify Phoebe and that it puts them one step to finding Phoebe's killer. Raquel recalls that, in 1982, they were shot at in cold blood in the middle of the street. Phoebe's body was taken; however, the police wrote up a half-hearted report and never followed up on the case. Max insists that she's the one in charge now and that she'll do everything to put the killer behind bars. She asks for a second chance in getting justice for Phoebe; unfortunately, that starts with a DNA sample from Raquel to prove a familial match. An incensed Raquel leaves the office without providing a sample and asks to be left alone.

Det. Chavez goes through the LVPD case file, which includes a crude drawing of the scene and a single eyewitness statement. The file mentions a single gunshot; however, upon closer inspection of the burned barrette, Greg concludes that there was more than one shot fired. His belief is that while the second shot killed Phoebe, the first one missed. This would explain the mark on Phoebe's skull and why the barrette was misshapen. The team already has twice as much information as the LVPD had 40 years ago; it might also help them figure something out about the shooter, such as height, handedness, or the weapon involved.

The team heads to the scene of the crime, a bus stop bench. According to Raquel's original statement, she and Phoebe had just left church and went to the bus stop. Lasers of various heights are set up; however, none of them line up with Phoebe's head. They determine that Phoebe had to have been standing up on the bench. With other factors still unknown, the height of the shooter can't be determined. However, Beau looks at photos of the original scene and sees that the apartment building across the street was in the process of being built at the time; that means it would've been all wood and metal framework. The bullet would've gone through the framework and gotten lodged in the office building across the street from the apartment. Using one of the lasers to pinpoint the location, Allie breaks down the building's wall, but comes up empty. Folsom realizes that the bullet hit Phoebe's barrette, which changed its trajectory. When that's factored in, Allie breaks down another section of the wall—and finds a bullet lodged in a piece of wood.

Unfortunately, the striation marks on the bullet are too damaged to find a match; furthermore, even if they had the murder weapon, this evidence would never hold up in court. However, they've been able to determine that their shooter was 6'4" tall. Folsom also examines some crystals in the bullet's tip and determines that they came from the rhinestones in Phoebe's barrette. The bullet found was the first bullet fired, but what happened to the second?

Max visits Raquel to provide her with the new information on the case. Raquel says that she and Phoebe used to sell jewelry and handcrafts at the church to help raise money for a mission trip. She recalls giving Phoebe a dollar from the collection, telling her that she earned it. While they were waiting at the bus stop, a "kid" approached them, held them at gunpoint, and demanded their money box. He fired two shots, with the second going through Phoebe's hand. When Max mentions that they haven't located the second bullet, Raquel unties her blouse and reveals that it's lodged inside her chest. Phoebe died trying to save her mother's life. When Raquel mentions that she would do anything to help find the shooter, Max asks her if she would be willing to undergo life-threatening surgery to have the bullet removed, as it's the key piece of evidence the team needs. Raquel consents to the surgery on one condition: if she dies during the surgery, she wants Phoebe buried in her rightful state. Max promises that she'll fulfill the request. Raquel survives the surgery, gives Max the retrieved bullet, and asks for another favor: "Go get the man."

The bullet pulled from Raquel is perfectly intact, as tissue wrapped around it to protect it. NIBIN identifies the bullet as a .45-caliber ACP (automatic colt pistol), most likely fired from a World War II-era Remington pistol. Research shows that the gun used to kill Phoebe was used in an unsolved liquor store robbery in 1961. Since Raquel had mentioned that she was shot by a teenager, they could be looking at two crimes committed with the same gun by two different perpetrators. The prime suspect in the 1961 case was a Matthew Beck; since he died in 1973, it's possible a relative is responsible for Phoebe's death. Matthew had 19 children and grandchildren, but one name stands out: Jeremiah Beck, the diver who found Phoebe's body at the bottom of Lake Mead. The team figures that he returned to the scene of the crime to get rid of evidence 41 years after the fact. Greg focuses on the license plate Jeremiah recovered from the bottom of the lake; the plate traces back to Jeremiah's pick-up truck.

When questioned, Jeremiah admits that he used to work at the Salt Mine Company; he was fired after six weeks for taking barrels and recycling them for cash. He's also in possession of five guns, one of which is a Remington Rand 1911 A1. When analyzed, Jeremiah's prints are found on the gun and the bullet test-fired from it has the same striations as the one removed from Raquel. Det. Chavez concludes that Jeremiah shot both Phoebe and Raquel. He was scared off by an eyewitness when he was trying to get rid of the bodies; therefore, he didn't know Raquel was still alive. When he dumped the drum with Phoebe's body into Lake Mead, he underestimated how heavy it was and ended up ripping off his license plate in the process. With the water levels in Lake Mead dropping, Jeremiah had to go back and retrieve the incriminating evidence. Det. Chavez places him under arrest.

Max goes to the hospital to give Raquel the good news; however, she's too late—Raquel has passed away. With her son's help, Max has Phoebe's likeness touched up to better represent what she looked like in life. Phoebe and Raquel are then laid to rest at the church, while the rest of the team arrives to give Max emotional support.


Main Cast[]

  • Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby
  • Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom
  • Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan
  • Ariana Guerra as Det. Serena Chavez
  • Jay Lee as Chris Park
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows (credited only)

Guest Cast[]

  • Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
  • Rob Morgan as Daniel Jordan
  • Luke Tennie as Bryan Roby
  • Derek Webster as Dr. Milton Hudson
  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Judy Kain as Dr. Heather Chumani
  • Brady Smith as Jeremiah Beck
  • Regina Taylor as Raquel Williams
  • Zion Broadnax as Phoebe Williams
  • Dani Woodson as Young Phoebe Williams
  • Dar Dixon as Glenn Jones


  • The news interview with Jeremiah Beck has a typo, referring to him as a "driver" rather than a "diver".


  • Spaceship by LeAnn Rimes


  • Marg Helgenberger (Catherine) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • This episode marks the temporary return of former CSI Greg Sanders to the crime lab.


See Also[]

  • Category:Images from The Promise
CSI:Vegas Season 2
She's GoneThe Painted ManStory of a GunKoalaIn Harm's WayThere's the RubBurnedGrace NoteIn the White RoomEyeballsTrinketWhen the Dust SettlesBonedThird Time's the CharmAshes, AshesWe All Fall DownThe Promise