Under My Skin
Season 15
Number 17
Writer Melissa R. Byer,
Treena Hancock
Director Alrick Riley
Original Airdate February 15, 2015
Previous Episode: The Last Ride
Next Episode: The End Game

Under My Skin is the seventeenth episode in Season Fifteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


When two young girls are kidnapped and one of their friends is found dead, the CSI team must work against the clock to make sure the two girls don't have the same destiny.


Victims: Pete Corday (deceased), Lexi Nolan and Cara Nolan (both missing)

On the case: entire team

Lexi Nolan gives her sister, Cara, a makeover. As they make their way through the mall, they grab the attention of several male onlookers. The two then go to meet Lexi's boyfriend, Axel, and his suspicious-looking friend, Pete. After Lexi leaves to hang out with Axel, Cara is forced to spend time with Pete, much against her will. Pete suggests that they go somewhere to hang out.

A short time later, Pete is found dead in a bathroom stall; his throat has been slashed, and the blood has been drained into the toilet. The body is still warm, so David Phillips concludes that Pete has been dead for less than an hour. Nick collects trace from Pete's back, which he believes might be an insect carcass that might've fallen off the killer. When unlocked, Pete's phone shows a recent picture of him with Cara.

Blood in the sink indicates that the killer either washed his hands or washed the blood off the murder weapon. He then put a "Closed for Cleaning" sign on the door to buy himself more time. The thought is that Cara was at least a witness to the murder, if not directly involved herself. Sara spots a shopping bag in the picture on Pete's phone, giving the team a location the girl went to. It's soon found out that the credit card used at the store belongs to a John Nolan, who is the director of the San Diego Crime Lab.

John is in town for a wedding, and he stops by the lab to talk with Nick. The two have a history, as John offered Nick a job in San Diego a few years ago. Cara is John's daughter, and he tells Nick that she's only 13 years old. He doesn't recognize the 23-year-old Pete and is told that the deceased has a few priors for drug possession. Nick informs him that Cara is missing, and John says that he last saw Cara and the 17-year-old Lexi at 10:00 AM this morning. No one has heard from the girls since, and Nick offers to ping their cell phones to track their locations.

The insect carcass found on Pete's body belongs to the giant desert hairy scorpion, an insect that is quite common in Nevada. Doc Robbins labels Pete's cause of death as exsanguination due to sharp massive force trauma. Based on the depth and angle of the wound, he believes that the killer was right-handed and quite strong, which would seem to rule out the Nolan sisters. Russell wonders if the girls saw who killed Pete; if so, that person might've taken the girls hostage.

Finn gets surveillance footage from the mall, which shows the girls meeting up with Axel and Pete. When Axel's face is run through facial recognition, it's revealed that the 25-year-old has an extensive rap sheet that includes drug trafficking and kidnapping. He also has a Federal charge filed against him, which occurred when he tried to take an underage girl into Mexico. All signs point to sex trafficking, and the thought is that this is what he has planned for Lexi and Cara.

Under interrogation, Axel tells Sara that he has nothing to do with Pete's death. He insists that he has no idea where the girls are, adding that he only met Lexi a week ago at a bar. Lexi wanted him to meet her in the mall, and he says that after they hooked up, he left for work. Sara offers to speak to Axel's boss to verify his alibi.

Lexi and Cara's cell phones are still transmitting a signal, and Morgan tracks them down to a desert in North Las Vegas. The search radius is narrowed down to a spot just off of a highway, and the signals aren't moving. When Greg and Morgan go to search the area, they find both cell phones, but no bodies. The phones have been damaged, as if they were tossed from a moving vehicle. While Cara's phone is inoperable, Lexi's phone opens to a video she took. The video, taken from inside the vehicle, shows her and Cara being held captive by an unidentified driver. When the driver found out he was being recorded, he held a knife to Cara's throat and ordered the phones to be given to him. Since the driver doesn't have a scorpion tattoo on his neck, Axel is ruled out as the captor; his work alibi also checks out.

Nick asks John if he has any enemies in San Diego, such as a family member of someone he put away recently or someone who was recently released from prison. John recalls that they just put away a biker gang that killed a city supervisor, and Nick asks for the case file. Nick allows John to see the video Lexi shot, hoping that the grieving father may be able to identify the driver; however, he's unable to do so. Lexi was trying to send the video clip to someone, and the number she entered is actually her father's. John says that he and Lexi haven't been that close since she chose to live with her mother in Vegas; however, he was the first one she contacted when she was in trouble.

The biker gang lead doesn't pan out, as every member is accounted for. Furthermore, John's team cracked a series of Mexican cartel murders along the border; however, he hasn't received any threats lately. Finn asks why someone would come all the way to Vegas to get revenge on John, leading Russell to wonder if the case really has nothing to do with him. The focus is put back on the girls, and mall surveillance shows them leaving the mall together. However, it's possible they were being followed by one of the mallgoers or their kidnapper was already waiting outside.

Lexi's text messages show that she has a male "admirer" who sent her pictures of his privates. When she told the guy to stop and threatened to tell the police, the guy replied that she was "just like her mother." The phone number comes back to a used car salesman named Dennis Hayes, and he clearly has some affiliation with the girls' mother, Tori.

In interrogation, Tori is unable to positively identify the captor in Lexi's video. She tells Sara that Dennis is a friend of her ex-boyfriend's whom she only met a few times. One of those times was at a party, where she found Dennis on top of a passed-out Lexi trying to take her clothes off. Tori says that she didn't call the police because the underage Lexi had been drinking and taking ecstasy; she didn't want her daughter taken away from her. John has been watching the interrogation from behind the glass. He confronts Tori In the hallway, and the two briefly argue before Sara deescalates things.

Morgan analyzes the video Lexi shot, finding that the vehicle they were in is a 1986 Chevy Suburban. Dennis doesn't own such a vehicle, but he probably has access to one since he's a used car salesman.

Nick gets a call and hurries to the scene. Lexi's body is found in a dumpster, the victim of blunt force trauma to the head. Fresh cuts on the bottom of her feet suggest that she tried to escape from her abductor. There isn't much blood in the dumpster, which indicates that she was killed somewhere else. The dumpster is in front of a house under renovation, but there's no sign that Lexi and Cara were held captive inside. A neighbor tells the police that they heard a metallic squeaking sound, possibly from the dumpster doors, then saw an SUV driving off. Figuring the killer had to have touched the door, Greg dusts it for fingerprints.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Nick that Lexi suffered a longitudinal fracture on the back of her head that caused massive cerebral hemorrhaging. Her head appears to have been smashed into a very hard, flat surface, and Nick found traces of stone in her head wound when he processed the body. Lexi has ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, and fingernail scratches on her wrist indicate that she tried to escape. Her sexual assault kit shows that she had consensual sex earlier in the day. There's also a wound on her shoulder that looks like an insect bite, and Nick recalls finding a scorpion exoskeleton on Pete's body in the bathroom.

Doc Robbins confirms that the sting on Lexi's shoulder is from a scorpion; however, this scorpion is identified as a deathstalker scorpion, which is indigenous to Israel. Henry explains to Russell that deathstalker scorpions are highly aggressive; if they release enough venom into their victim, it could lead to death. The thought is that the bite contributed to Lexi's death; she tried to escape, but was weakened by the sting, allowing her killer to catch up to her. When Dennis Hayes is found in a motel in Nebraska, he's ruled out as the kidnapper.

There are seven places in Nevada that sell deathstalker scorpions. A list of buyers is cross-referenced with those who own a 1986 Chevy Suburban and one name is found: Kieran Clark. When searched, Kieran's place is full of terrariums that house different species of spiders, snakes, and scorpions. Greg finds a stalker board that contains dozens of photos of Cara, which is quite something, as she's only been in town for a few days. However, upon closer inspection, the girl in the photos isn't Cara, it's someone who bears a striking resemblance to her.

Nick fills John in on the case, telling him that they know who took Cara and why. Kieran has an obsession with someone who looks like Cara, and he took her because she reminded him of the girl. John is pessimistic that they'll find Cara alive, but Nick tells him that he won't give up and promises him that they'll find her.

Kieran is known locally as "The Bug Guy" and is horrifyingly allowed to work around children, as he takes his exotic pets to schools and kids' birthday parties. The girl in the photos on his stalker board is identified as Jennifer DeMarcus; she used to work at a pet shop in Henderson, which is how the she and Kieran met. After one date, he became obsessed with her and started stalking her. Jennifer moved back to the east coast to get away from him, but it's clear Kieran is still obsessed. The thought is that his feelings came rushing back when he saw Cara in the mall, and he decided to grab her. A flashback shows Kieran as one of the gawking men Cara and Lexi walked by in the beginning of the episode. Since Cara was hanging out with Pete, Kieran had to kill him to get him out of the way. By the time he did so, Cara had met back up with Lexi, so he had no choice but to take them both.

The stone particles from Lexi's head wound were coated with some kind of impregnating sealant used primarily on walkways and driveways. There was no evidence of the sealant in the dumpster where her body was found, which means it had to come from where she was actually murdered. Since it's known that Lexi tried to escape, the thought is that she was near a driveway when Kieran caught up to her and smashed her head into the pavement. The sealant found wasn't entirely cured, meaning that it was probably applied within the last couple of days.

A search is conducted of all houses within a five-mile radius of where Lexi's body was found. As it turns out, a house two miles from the dumpster had their driveway sealed a few days ago. Since Lexi didn't get far when she tried to escape, she must've been being held in a house nearby.

Against Finn's advice, Nick heads out to the area without backup. As he takes a look at the freshly-sealed driveway, he spots the Chevy Suburban parked in front of the house next door. He busts into the house, where Kieran is holding Cara at knifepoint. Nick tells Kieran that he knows about Jennifer, and he tries convincing him that the girl he's holding hostage is someone entirely different. Kieran rejects this idea, saying that Cara is his and that he's not going to let her go. As Kieran goes to slit Cara's throat, Nick shoots him once in the head, killing him. Nick tells Cara that he's a friend of her dad's, and he takes the girl to safety.

In the hospital, John tells Nick that because of the ordeal, he's been reassessing his life. He wants to spend more time with Cara, who needs him now more than ever. There's going to be a vacancy in the San Diego Crime Lab when he steps away, and he offers Nick a job to run it in his place. As John goes back in to Cara's room, Nick silently walks away; he's got some thinking to do.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

Major Events[]

  • This episode sets up Nick's eventual departure from the series to head up the crime lab in San Diego.


  • Change Your Life by Iggy Azalea
  • Opulence by Brooke Candy


  • When discussing the disappearance of the Nolan sisters, Russell and Ecklie both say they've been in the father's shoes. Morgan was kidnapped in the Season 13 finale Skin in the Game, while Maya Russell was taken in the episode The Greater Good.


  • Lisa Rinna, who played Tori Nolan, is an actress, author, and television personality. She's well known for her roles in Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place. Since 2014, she's been a main cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 15
The CSI EffectBuzz KillBad BloodThe Book of ShadowsGirls Gone WilderThe Twin ParadoxRoad to RecoveryRubbery HomicideLet's Make A DealDead RailsAngle of AttackDead WoodsThe Greater GoodMerchants of MenaceHero to ZeroThe Last RideUnder My SkinThe End GameImmortality