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Uninvited
Uninvited.jpg
Season 14
Number 18
Writer Elizabeth Devine
Director Brad Tanenbaum
Original Airdate March 19, 2014
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Previous Episode: Long Road Home
Next Episode: The Fallen

Uninvited is the eighteenth episode in season fourteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The CSIs are called to investigate when an entire family is reported to have been missing for a month. At first they suspect a homeless man, but they soon discover the disturbing fate of the family.

Plot

Victims: Doug Adamson (alive), Dwight Connor (missing), Claire Connor (missing), Heather Connor (missing), Ethan Connor (missing)

On the case: D.B. Russell, Julie Finlay, Nick Stokes, Morgan Brody, Greg Sanders, Jim Brass

Inside their house, the Connor family performs various activities, such as watching television and using their cell phones. Unbeknownst to them, someone is peeking in their windows and watching their every move.

Approximately one month later, a Girl Scout knocks on the Connor's door, hoping to sell some cookies. When she looks in one of the windows, she sees that the place has been cleaned out and that there's a bloody body lying in the kitchen. The victim, who's still alive, is Doug Adamson, a homeless man who was just released from jail 30 days ago. He was apparently squatting in the house, fell, and hit his head on the kitchen counter. The Connors, however, are in the wind, as nobody has seen them for almost a month. Brass puts a broadcast out on their vehicles, while the CSIs try to determine where the family might have gone.

Finn, Morgan and Nick look around the empty house. Everything of value has been removed, but there are still family photos on the wall. Nick spots that one of the window curtains and its tieback are missing, possibly used to restrain someone. Finn zeroes in on where Doug fell and hit his head; while this caused spatter to move upwards, she finds spatter on the kitchen island traveling in the opposite direction, indicating a separate event. She and Nick find more blood spatter on the walls and castoff on the ceiling.

Nick is asked to step outside while Finn sprays luminol all over the house. Outside, he and Morgan see that one of the windows has fresh caulk around its outside, indicating that it was replaced recently. Nearby, it's observed that a corner of the welcome mat is soaked in something that appears to be blood. A neighbor, who introduces herself as Madge, soon introduces herself to Nick and mentions that she saw a big truck that someone was loading furniture into. The truck was registered to a company called Las Vegas Consignment.

In the hospital, Doug tells Greg and Brass that he met Claire and Ethan Connor the day he was released from jail. They offered to pay him for doing odd jobs around the house, including cleaning the garage. When the task took too long, they invited him to stay the night. The following morning, the family asked Doug to dig some trenches around the house for the sprinklers. He claims that he saw them get into their blue SUV and drive off to the movies; however, they never came back. Doug took the family up on their offer to stay for as long as he wanted. After a few weeks went by, he started selling off their valuables in exchange for what they owed him. Doug swears that he doesn't have anything to do with their disappearance, adding that he didn't call the police because he didn't want to to back to jail.

Upon spraying the luminol, Finn finds evidence of a lot of blood. The predominance of blood is in the living room, and it can be seen where the furniture used to be. While doing her thing, Finn found two major areas: one is a blood pool by the kitchen island, while the other is bloody drag marks leading out the back door. Blood spatter indicates that the beating took place by the kitchen island, and the victim ended up lying on the floor and bleeding.

The team is able to recover the furniture that was taken by the moving company, and the pieces are placed where the voids in the carpet are. Finn believes that the weapon used was long, and Russell notes that the fireplace poker is missing from the set. Based on the blood spatter, Finn is able to pinpoint where the attack started. One of the barstools at the kitchen island has gravitational blood drops on it, and the CSIs surmise that Dwight Connor was sitting there. Russell notes that the victim (presumably Dwight) suffered multiple blows, leading him to think that he was tied up with the tieback from the curtain.

Morgan interrupts and leads the CSIs to the backyard, where ground-penetrating radar has picked up a body. They see that it's the family dog buried in a shallow grave - with its throat cut. The fact that the body is carefully wrapped indicates that the family likely buried it. Nobody would do this to their own dog, and Russell believes that someone was sending the family a message. Someone in the Connor family was way over their head, which likely got everyone killed.

Matching the blood in the house to a particular family member's DNA will be difficult, as all personal items have been thrown out and anything in the garbage is likely contaminated. Henry informs Finn that the best he can do is to provide the location of where each donor bled and their sex. He says that the stains at the bar belong to Doug, which lines up with his story. One male bleeder is also identified, but to Finn's surprise, the majority of the blood belongs to one of the females, including the drag marks leading out the back door.

Nick and Russell go over the family history, noting that Heather is homeschooled and that Ethan hangs out with some shady people. A search of Ethan's room turned up some stash boxes with traces of methamphetamine and THC in them. While the drugs could belong to Doug, it's also possible they could be Ethan's, which would connect him with the shady people he hangs out with.

Brass texts Russell, telling him that he has information about Claire. She had recently filed a police report, claiming that someone was stalking her. One of the incidents included a rock being thrown through a window, which would explain the recent replacement. She also told police that when she returned home one day, she found all of the kitchen cabinets open; someone got into the house. However, Claire refused to have a CSI come and dust the house for fingerprints. Russell reveals that the blood on the doormat outside is canine, something that Claire mysteriously decided not to report.

Dwight worked for a company called Braxton Imports, which imports coffee amongst "other things." The owner, Marvin Braxton, fired Dwight a day before the family disappeared. When questioned, Marvin tells Brass that Dwight was the company's CFO until he was fired for stealing $500,000. Marvin admits that he heard the family is missing, but he claims that he has ways of getting even that don't involve hurting people. When told that it seems the Connor family was murdered, Marvin laughs, adding that he doesn't have anything to do with their disappearance.

Ethan's car is brought into the CSI garage, where it's seen that the driver's side has been damaged. The car had been in the shop for a month, and Nick notes that everything in the case keeps tying back to that timeline, almost as if life stopped for the family in an instant. According to the DMV, Ethan had gotten into an accident. Nick checks the undercarriage and sees that both brake lines have been completely cut intentionally. The theory is that the entire family is paying for Dwight's actions.

Morgan and Hodges get the unenviable task of digging through the Connor's garbage. Hodges comes across a contract for a storage unit signed by Doug Adamson, signed one day after the family invited him over to their house. Finn and Morgan go the storage unit. When they open it, they get a strong whiff of decomp. The missing blue SUV is inside, and there's a large blood pool in the trunk. Dwight's body is soon found lying on the ground in front of the car. The father has been found, but where is the rest of the family?

The large volume of blood spatter indicates that Dwight was killed in the storage unit, and castoff says that he was struck multiple times. Finn finds a bloody baseball bat near the body with pieces of Dwight's skull embedded in the wood. Using their mobile DNA unit, Morgan tests the blood from the trunk and finds that it matches the female blood from the house. Either Claire or Heather was killed in the house, and Dwight was driven to the storage unit and killed there. This would seem to indicate that Dwight was with the killer when they got rid of the body in the trunk. Morgan spots fresh tar on the side of the car, which points to the vehicle having been driven on a freshly paved road.

Back in interrogation, Doug Adamson continues to swear that he didn't kill anybody. He also denies renting the storage unit despite a surveillance photo showing him at the facility the same day the Connors went missing. Curiously, the person in the photo is doing a good job at hiding their face. Doug insists that he was digging trenches in the Connor's yard that day and repeats that he was invited to live with the family. Brass reveals that Doug and Ethan Connor spent time in a psych hold in the same facility on the same day. Doug claims that he never saw Ethan during his stay. He adds that he's been an addict for most of his life, but he would never kill anyone to feed his habit. The interrogation ends when Doug asks for a lawyer.

The unknown male DNA from the house comes back to Dwight; however, the DNA has no markers in common with the female victim. This finding rules out Heather as the possible victim, putting the focus on Claire. Russell theorizes that Dwight, who embezzled $500,000 from his company, was forced to watch his family get killed at the hands of Marvin Braxton's goons. It's also possible that the family was killed over a drug deal gone wrong, as both Doug and Ethan are addicts. Red powder on Dwight's pants is identified as some sort of soil or crushed brick, which could've been picked up from where the other bodies are buried.

Hodges finds that the red powder is found in minerals specific to Red Rock Canyon. The area is over 200,000 acres, but Morgan remembers that the Connor's car drove over a freshly paved road. This narrows down the search radius, and when Morgan, Nick and some cadets search the area, they find a mummified female body buried under the dirt. The missing curtain from the living room is wrapped around the body, so it has to be one of the members of the family.

In autopsy, it's observed that the victim has ligature marks around the wrists, confirming she was restrained. There are multiple contusions to her head; however, the shallow impacts of the wounds suggest that the killer didn't have much upper-body strength. Doc Robbins guesses that the weapon was something heavy an inch or less in diameter, and he confirms that the missing fireplace poker could've done the trick. X-rays show that the victim had an intrauterine device (IUD) placed in her uterus; such a device prevents pregnancy. According to the medical records, Claire had a hysterotomy five years ago and Heather was never prescribed birth control. This rules out both of them as potential victims, so the body on the table remains a mystery.

IUDs have serial numbers, and the one in question belongs to a Jessica Fenton. Her DNA matches the blood from the house, so she was the one killed in the house and transported out to Red Rock Canyon in the back of the SUV. Nick recovers her laptop and finds a three-month old sex tape involving her and Dwight. In the video, Jessica was playing to the camera, so she definitely knew it was there. The laptop's hard drive also contains hundreds of photos of the Connor family, so Jessica was the aforementioned stalker. In addition, diagonal cutters were found at Jessica's house with evidence suggesting that she was the one who cut the brake lines on Ethan's car. Over a three month span, things escalated from an affair to Jessica killing the family dog and trying to kill the son. Greg and Nick theorize that Claire found out about the affair, killed both Jessica and her husband, and left town with the kids.

It's discovered that Jessica, an I.T. specialist, used her computer skills to hack into the Braxton Imports server and transferred $500,000 into Dwight's private bank account. Not only did Jessica get Dwight fired, but evidence is found that she contacted Claire and sent her the sex tape. An e-mail is also found sent from Claire to Jessica a day before the family went missing; the message reads that they "need to talk." This would explain why Jessica was at the house.

The theory is that Claire confronted her husband's mistress, striking her with the fireplace poker. Things escalated to the point where Claire tied her up and beat her to death. Since Dwight's blood was also at the scene, he came in at some point and tried to intervene, which caused him to get accidentally struck. So now, the family has a body in the living room. Instead of calling the cops, they chose to cover it up, driving the body out to Red Rock Canyon and burying it.

However, the significance of the storage unit is still a mystery. Henry points out to Russell that there's no physical evidence that Doug was actually at the storage unit, and the person in the surveillance photo hid their face. However, Henry has more pertinent information: Dwight fought off his attacker. DNA under Dwight's fingernails matches a male relative - his son. But why would Ethan kill his father? Evidence of sexual activity is found on Jessica's underwear that proves she was also having an affair with Ethan. It's theorized that he found out Jessica was using him to destroy the family, and he ended up taking his rage out on his father.

Jessica's credit cards are traced, and it's discovered that around the time she was murdered, one of the cards was used to buy three bus passes to Prescott, Arizona. The next day, the card was used to book a room at an extended stay hotel. When the place was searched, only Heather was found; her mother and brother are in the wind.

Under interrogation, Heather claims that she didn't call the police because she didn't want to get her family in trouble. She knew that her mother killed Jessica and that Ethan killed her father. A flashback shows Heather walking in on Jessica's dead body, at which point she was told that they were going to clean up the scene and disappear. Heather tells Brass that nobody asked her what she wanted to do and, because of that, she'll never get to see her friends again.

Continuing, she says that Ethan found Doug and invited him to stay in the house; doing so would make him the prime suspect when the family disappeared. She recalls that Dwight and Ethan went to drop the car off at the storage locker; however, only Ethan came back. He was covered in blood, and Heather knew what he had done. She laments that none of this would've ever happened if her father knew how to "keep it in his pants."

With tears streaming down her face, Heather tells Brass that her family ruined her life. She claims to not know where her mother and brother are, but Brass doesn't believe her, as people just don't vanish into thin air. As Brass continues to press her, she straightens up, gets serious, and says that her mother and brother went to the movies and never came back.

As the episode closes, a camera pans across the desert. In Red Rock Canyon, the bodies of Claire and Ethan Connor are seen buried next to each other. The implication is that Heather killed both of them for ruining her life; however, her fate is never revealed.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Niko Nicotera as Doug Adamson
  • Leah Bateman as Heather Connor
  • Edie McClurg as Madge
  • Kenda Benward as Claire Connor
  • Tina Casciani as Jessica Fenton
  • Robby Rasmussen as Ethan Connor
  • Bayley Tanenbaum as Chloe
  • Whitney Wellner as Nancy
  • Robert Davi as Marvin Braxton
  • Adam Lieberman as Dwight Connor
  • Shandel Love as Woman (uncredited)

Quotes

David Hodges: I find garbage fascinating.
Morgan Brody: Yeah, that doesn't surprise me.
David Hodges: What most people throw away in trash bags is actually bio degradable or recyclable. And necessarily taking up precious space in our rapidly diminishing landfills.
Morgan Brody: You have a trash journal?
David Hodges: Yah!

Goofs

  • At the beginning of the episode, a crew member's reflection is seen while passing by the guest teen male star.

Music

  • Hurricane by Ms Mr

Notes

  • Jorja Fox (Sara) is credited but does not appear in the episode.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 14
The Devil and D.B. RussellTake the Money and RunTorch SongLast SupperFrame by FramePassed PawnsUnder a CloudHelplessCheck In and Check OutGirls Gone WildLost ReindeerKeep Calm and Carry OnBoston BrakesDe Los MuertosLove for SaleKiller MovesLong Road HomeUninvitedThe FallenConsumedKittyDead In His Tracks


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