It's Nick's birthday, but the CSI has little time to celebrate: a 419 call comes in from the Park Pines Motel on Freemont and Nick volunteers to take the call. When he gets there, he's chagrined to find the victim is Haley Jones, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the motel's manager, Mark, and his wife, Nicole. Nick flashes back to his first meeting with the girl, on his birthday the previous year when a man named Harry Steadwell was found dead in his motel room, the apparent victim of a fatal fall. Haley expressed interest in Nick and forensics before being called away by her mother. Her father, Mark, was the new manager--he took over a week after the old manager, Dale Durney, failed to show up for work. The old manager's fate is soon revealed when Greg discovers him dead in the crawl space above the room, a wad of money in his pocket. When Doc Robbins determines Durney died from cardiac arrest caused by electrocution, the CSIs are able to piece together what happened: knowing seedy clientele would often hide money in the crawl spaces above their rooms, Dale rigged them with a magnetic locking mechanism only he could control. Dale saw Harry hide his money and triggered the lock. Harry was arrested before he could try to get to his money, but when Dale went after it, he electrocuted himself on some exposed wires. When Harry got released from jail a week later, he went back for the money and got his gun caught on the magnet, causing it to fire and Harry to be thrown back, falling from the chair he was standing on and fatally hitting his head.
Later that year, Nick was called in for another crime: Haley's friend, Bree Lindale, claimed that she woke up in the Jones' motel apartment after being at a bonfire for her birthday, her pants on the floor and Mark Jones standing over her. Bree tells Nick that she and Haley are no longer friends--when Haley started imitating her, right down to copying her blonde locks, she dumped Haley as a friend. Nick is surprised to learn that Nicole Jones went to the bonfire after forbidding Haley to go, and she tells him she took pictures with her camera to show Haley what was going on at the bonfire. Nick asks for the camera and takes the pictures to Bree, who identifies one person who wasn't supposed to be there: Zack Fenish, a boy she claims was stalking her. Zack admits to being at the party, but it wasn't Bree he was interested in, it was Haley. Archie finds deleted photos of Bree on Nicole Jones's camera, and she admits to Nick and Brass that she had a daughter, Melissa, who died as a baby before she had Haley. Bree reminded her of Melissa, so she'd take pictures of her. She deleted them so that Haley would never find out. Henry finds GHB in Bree's system, but when Hodges finds a substance used to condition baseball gloves on Bree's body, their suspicion turns to Bree's boyfriend Dave Henkel, a baseball player. Thinking that Bree was cheating on him with a teammate of his, he drugged Bree in order to have sex with her, but she fought him off and got out of the car. Catherine brings Bree in for her questioning and she admits to wandering from the street to the Park Pines Motel. She had a key to the Jones' apartment and used the key to get in. She finally confesses that Mark Jones did nothing to her--she just didn't want her presence to make Haley think they were friends again.
117 days before Haley's murder, Nick was once again called to a case at the Park Pines Motel after Haley, now a sullen goth dating Zach, discovered the body of Tanya Carrow, the apparent victim of an overdose. At only 32, Tanya already had a record and had just been released from the penitentiary. Her father, Frank, identified her but admits he wasn't much of a parent to the troubled young woman. He leaves a memorial with flowers and a picture of Tanya holding a baby in the penitentiary at the hotel. Back in the present, David Phillips tells a stunned and chagrined Nick that Haley was stabbed, and he discovers the picture of Tanya in Haley's pocket. The police bring Zack in, who Haley dumped the day before her death. Zack claims he loved Haley and though they both dealt crystal meth, he would have happily stopped for her if it would have meant she wouldn't have broken up with him. Langston is able to identify the location the photo was taken at: the White Sands Penitentiary, and they identify the woman in it as Tanya. Nick puts it together: Haley was her baby. Mark Jones tells Nick that Tanya was babysitting for Melissa when she left the infant unattended in the bathtub and she drowned. When she learned she was pregnant, Tanya offered her baby to the Jones in return. When Tanya showed up at the hotel several months ago to see Haley, Nicole went to her room and fought with her. A regular resident of the hotel recalls seeing Nicole leaving the room carrying two coffee cups--and he could smell the meth coming from one of them. When a search of the Jones' apartment uncovers a blood-soaked shirt, Nick brings Nicole in. Nicole admits to arguing with Haley after she cut her hair to look like Tanya and brought scissors out to insist on Haley changing the style, but during the argument, Haley argued with her mother and ran into the scissors. Nick asks Nicole why she didn't call 911, and she claims she was in shock--and worn down by Haley's constant rebellion. When he tells her he knows she killed Tanya with meth from Zack's stash, she admits that she never wanted Haley--it was like living with the ghost of Melissa's killer. After the case is closed, Ray finds a crushed Nick in the locker room, crying over the tragedy of Haley's life. Ray offers the devastated CSI some solace, as well as a realization, "Everyone keeps telling me what this job isn't. How you're feeling right now is what it is."
From CSI Files.com