Trinket is the eleventh episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 11
Writer Safia M. Dirie
Director Ruben Garcia
Original Airdate January 12, 2023
Previous Episode: Eyeballs
Next Episode: When the Dust Settles


When a young, non-verbal boy is found hiding in a stranger's garage, the CSI team searches for his missing mother. Also, Max receives a strange letter with symbols in silver ink that Folsom and Allie recognize from prior crime scenes.


Victims: Cara Jefferson (deceased), Michael Jefferson (alive)

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

A woman enters her garage and is perplexed that one of the windows is open. While her back is turned, a shadowy figure quickly makes its way through the garage unseen. The woman is convinced that she’s being visited by the spirit of her late husband, then quickly runs out when startled by a falling basketball.

Beau and Penny are called in to investigate the breaking and entering call. The woman relays that her late husband has been paying her visits, something met with skepticism by the CSIs. However, they’re all soon alerted to a noise coming from the nearby cooler. When the lid is opened, a young boy is found huddled inside, shivering from both the cold and the fear.

At the hospital, Beau fills Folsom in on what they’ve learned—the boy, who is non-verbal, has complications from exposure and is having an allergic reaction that’s making his hands and feet peel. The boy’s parents are unknown. When Beau and Folsom process the boy, they find that he only has one shoe. Folsom spots a bracelet on the boy’s wrist with the name “Michael” on it. The CSIs process Michael, with Beau remarking that his daughter has a similar bracelet that was purchased for her on a trip. Beau trades a dollar bill folded into the shape of a dinosaur for the bracelet.

Back at the lab, Folsom brings Max up to speed on the case. He mentions that Michael’s only defining characteristic is a pointed left ear, which Max says is likely Stahl’s deformity, an inherited gene mutation that gives an extra fold of cartilage at the ear. Michael’s DNA isn’t in the system; however, his mother’s is. She’s identified as Cara Jefferson, a missing person who disappeared when she was 16 years old. The case hasn’t been touched in eight years; however, based on Michael’s age, he was born after Cara disappeared. Curiously, three other girls from Cara’s high school also went missing around the same time.

Scent dogs are dispatched to find Michael’s point of origin. On the way, Penny spots a row of beehives in one of the neighboring houses’ backyards. She explains to Folsom that beehives produce pollen, which then releases allergens into the atmosphere. This may explain why Michael’s hands and feet are peeling—he’s having an allergic reaction to the pollen. Det. Chavez relays that Cara’s parents, Mary and Pete Trask, have been identified and notified that they have a grandson. Mary told police that she had suspected Cara’s high school boyfriend, Sam Daley, of being responsible for Cara’s disappearance. The initial investigation said that Cara ran away from home, as a week after she left, she sent her mother a letter stating that she wasn't coming back. Scent dogs soon lead the team to a recently dug grave; when uncovered, Cara’s body is found inside wrapped in a blanket. The thought is that if Cara and the other missing girls from her high school were taken by the same person, there could be more graves nearby. When Beau finds Michael’s missing shoe, he comes to the horrifying conclusion that the boy was buried alive.

Mary and Pete are filled in on Michael’s situation. After they go to visit him, Max speaks with Beau privately, telling him that he has to distance himself from the victims’ families. Beau offers to walk away from the case, as everything reminds him of his two daughters; however, Max reassures him that he’s the right man for the job despite his relative inexperience.

In autopsy, Sonya has determined that Cara suffered a major central nervous system injury. The condition of her brain tissue indicates that she suffocated; however, the hypoxemia can be caused by one of several complications. When Folsom mentions that Cara may have been buried alive, Sonya says that she found traces of fiber and dirt in her mouth and throat, but not her lungs. This could be caused by the vocal cords involuntarily contracting and preventing foreign bodies from entering the trachea. Something more disturbing is found—evidence shows that Cara was raped repeatedly and held captive for years. Furthermore, she had given birth no more than three months ago. Folsom immediately realizes that the goodbye letter Cara sent to her parents was probably fake.

The trace found in Cara’s throat matches the dirt extracted from under Michael’s fingernails. Folsom, meanwhile, has recovered the letter Cara supposedly wrote to her parents. The letter is covered in fingerprints; however, by using various light frequencies, he’s able to find which prints are the oldest. One set of prints is Cara’s, while another set of partials comes back to Sam Daley, Cara’s high school boyfriend. Sam just happens to live right next to where Cara’s body was found.

When questioned, Sam insists that he didn’t kidnap Cara, nor did he hurt her or kill her. However, his prints were found on Cara’s goodbye letter, and he was well acquainted with the other high school girls who went missing. Sam soon comes clean, saying that he and Cara only pretended to date; in reality, he was a gay kid from a religious household who was just trying to hide a secret. He and Cara protected each other, as Cara herself had an older boyfriend she didn’t want her parents to know about. Sam admits that he helped Cara send the letter to her parents; she disappeared soon after that. DNA proves that Sam isn’t Michael’s father, putting the team at a dead end. However, Beau realizes that Cara may have written about her secret boyfriend in her diary, which is likely at her mother’s house.

Beau, Folsom and Det. Chavez visit with Mary and Pete. Pete explains that Cara doesn’t have a room anymore, as it was too difficult living with so many memories of their daughter after she disappeared. Mary never fully recovered, only being able to be herself when she’s on one of her many solo trips to various places around the world. While Pete leads Folsom and Det. Chavez to the basement where Cara’s things are stored, Beau stays behind to spend time with Michael. The two bond briefly; however, when Michael starts coughing and Beau offers him a glass of water, the boy knocks the glass over and begins to freak out.

Penny brings boxes of honey back to the lab that were taken from the beehives she saw earlier. Her hope is that the honey will tell them if the other high school girls who went missing around the same time Cara did are buried nearby. Extracting the volatile organic compounds from the honey will allow them to detect the presence of humans. Penny explains to Catherine that when humans decompose, they release the compounds into the soil. The compounds are absorbed by the nearby vegetation and deposited into the pollen, which the bees then turn into honey. This preserves the volatile organic compounds. Theoretically, if the compounds are present in the honey samples, the team should know where to look for the other cadavers. Penny adds that humans possess five unique esters that will help them distinguish a human cadaver from an animal one. Results prove that there are more bodies hiding in the area where Cara was found.

Back at Trask house, Beau and Folsom search the basement, which is full of water-damaged boxes. While checking out an adjacent room, Beau comes across a gold record belonging to Pete, who arrives and explains that he has won several major awards for recording audiobooks. A small trophy shows that Cara herself was a singer, and Pete says that this is how he met his wife—Mary wanted help making her daughter a star. Folsom enters with Cara’s yearbook and shows him a photo of Cara with her favorite teacher. They see that the man in the photo has Stahl’s deformity.

Under interrogation, the teacher, Jake Rooney, admits that Michael is his son. Before she disappeared, Cara had told Jake that she was pregnant. Since the age of consent in Nevada is 16, the relationship was legal. Jake denies having anything to do with the other missing girls from the high school, adding that he and Cara were going to run away together; however, she never showed. He then shuts down the questioning and asks for a lawyer.

Cadaver dogs search the dried riverbed near where Cara’s body was found and focus on a recently dug grave. When dirt is brushed aside, a tiny skeletal hand is seen sticking out of the ground. The team hasn’t found a missing high school girl—they’ve found Cara’s baby.

In autopsy, Sonya determines that the baby girl died approximately three months ago due to medical negligence. Beau is certain that Jake is responsible, but Max has him reign it in. When he mentions that Michael’s hands and feet were peeling, Sonya has a realization. Fluids are extracted from Cara’s body and diatoms are found in her inner ear, which means she was submerged underwater before she died. Cara, however, didn’t drown to death, as no water was found in her lungs; instead, she suffocated due to mammalian dive reflex—her being submerged in cold water forced her throat to involuntarily contract, preventing water from entering the lungs and stomach. Michael’s pneumonia and peeling skin are both signs of near drowning. The team must now find where Cara and Michael went underwater, and Michael is the only one who knows.

Beau and Det. Chavez go to speak with Michael; a child advocate, Mary and Pete are all present. When the boy pulls the dinosaur dollar bill Beau made for him earlier, the CSI goes to the basement to retrieve a toy dinosaur he found on his first trip down there. He opens the battery compartment of the toy and finds that the batteries are corroded. It’s then that he sees that mold is only present in parts of the basement. Evidence leads him to the soundproof booth in the recording studio. When he wheels the booth out of the way, he finds a semi-furnished apartment hidden behind a secret panel in the wall.

Beau explains to Folsom that the corroded batteries were from water damage; however, the only items in the basement with mold on them were Cara’s boxes. In other words, someone did a thorough cleanup at some point. The apartment, which has no windows and only one way in or out, also has a new pipe fitting near the ceiling. Beau and Folsom wonder if the room could’ve filled up with enough water to drown an adult. The room doesn’t have enough room to hold multiple girls, so the assumption is that Pete used the missing high school girls as cover for taking Cara. Furthermore, since Michael hasn’t reacted negatively towards Pete, the CSIs guess that the boy was hidden away when Pete came down to “visit.”

The room is spotless, showing no signs of any water damage. A frustrated Beau then takes a sledgehammer and starts breaking down the wall, revealing soundproof insulation. Pete maintains that he’s a sound guy who needs a soundproofed room; however, Beau points out that the insulation is made of the same materials that were found in Cara’s throat and under Michael’s nails. The CSIs conclude that the water main burst, filling the soundproof room with water. Cara and Michael screamed for help, but couldn’t be heard. They then tried clawing their way out through the drywall, but were unsuccessful. Pete found them later and buried them, not knowing that Michael was still alive.

Under formal interrogation, Pete says that a pregnant Cara came home four months ago looking for a place to stay. With Mary out of town on one of her vacations around the world, Pete let Cara stay in the basement apartment. He claims that everything that happened afterwards was an accident, but Folsom unravels his story quickly. The baby found buried in the riverbed shares DNA with Pete; he raped his stepdaughter and held her captive. As Pete is taken away in handcuffs, he says that he couldn’t let Cara leave because he was in love with her.

Beau and Max watch the interrogation from behind the glass. The case seems to be wrapped up, but Beau expresses his doubt about Mary’s innocence. He believes that there’s no way all of this could’ve been going on for eight years without Mary knowing. When Max mentions that Mary was always on vacation, he comes to a realization. He and Det. Chavez confront Mary in the parking garage and show her the Mexican woven bracelet Michael was wearing when he was first found. Mary bought the bracelet for Michael when she was on one of her vacations; since she always traveled solo, there’s no way Pete bought the bracelet. Therefore, Mary was aware of Michael's existence. She admits that Pete married her, but was in love with Cara. Because she felt Cara wouldn’t last in the real world, she let Pete have her. In simplest terms, she traded her daughter for cruises and spa days. As Mary is also hauled away in handcuffs, Michael speaks for the first time and asks Beau for his bracelet.

Max informs Beau that Sam Daley and his partner have agreed to take care of Michael. She commends Beau on a job well done, but the distraught CSI hands over his field kit. He says that he’s not going back out in the field and that he belongs in the lab. Beau then returns home and gives one of his daughters the origami dinosaur he made for Michael.

Victims: Lynn Zobrist, Lamont Moore (both deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Catherine Willows, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby, Penny Gill

Recapping past episodes, the team has figured out that certain cases they’ve investigated are linked. The common thread is Alan Herskowitz, the man convicted of killing Lynn Zobrist in her home. When visited by Catherine and Max in the prison psych ward, Alan rambled that everything was “all by design.” Lamont Moore was killed because he refused to follow someone else’s command to commit murder. The team has followed the clues and has started investigating an unseen figure who writes unintelligible notes in silver ink.

While going through her mail at her desk, Max comes across a “thank you” postcard written in the same silver ink. The gibberish matches the postcard found in Alan’s apartment. Allie uses a Raman spectrometer to determine that the silver ink in the postcards don’t match; the ink on the “thank you” card was written in silver nanoparticle ink, which is commonly used in circuit board creation. The nonsensical writing on both postcards, however, is a match.

Allie remembers that Lynn, Lamont and Alan all shared the same child psychologist (Dr. Sarkisian), and wonders if the victims in the other cases did, as well. She enlists the help of Dr. Diane Auerbach, the victims’ most recent psychologist. The hope is that since Dr. Auerbach is involved with the state licensing board, she might be able to unseal some records. Allie and Catherine ask the doctor why she thinks the assignment killings keep happening; she replies that this could all be a game—antisocial personalities finding amusement in what more socialized personalities would find taboo. Both Allie and Catherine are left a little perplexed by the answer.

Allie visits Dr. Auerbach in her office. The doctor confirms that every patient on the list had a psychiatric file with state, some with the now-deceased Dr. Sarkisian. Most of the files Allie is looking for are present; however, Dr. Auerbach mentions that some are missing. She leads Allie to the seemingly uncompromised filing cabinet, which Allie offers to have processed. She believes that whoever took the files may be responsible for the much more heinous crimes, as well. Dr. Auerbach consents to this, but then abruptly leaves, claiming that she has a speaking engagement out of the country.

Allie, Catherine and Penny go through Dr. Auerbach’s patient files, some of which are ancient carbon copies. A few of the carbon copies have doodles written on them that match the silver ink postcards. Dr. Auerbach is out of town, but the women agree that the good doctor will have some questions to answer when she returns.


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 (credited only)
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows

Guest Cast[]

  • Kathleen Wilhoite as Dr. Diane Auerbach
  • Sara Amini as Sonya Nikolayevich
  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Henry Joseph Samiri as Michael
  • Mark Engelhardt as Pete Trask
  • Missy Yager as Mary Trask
  • Reid Emmons as Samuel Daley
  • Jon Garet Stoker as Jake Rooney


  • The Blackening by Airmann


  • Jay Lee (Chris) is credited but does not appear in the episode.

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Trinket
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