CSI: NY

Season 5 Episode 9

The Box

3
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 26, 2008 on CBS

Episode Recap

The episode opens with Danny Messer facing a life crisis, talking about the last crisis he faced, ten years ago when a wrist injury ended his baseball career. He flashes back to discuss the case that marked a change in his life just days ago: Decomposing remains discovered in a crushed car at a junkyard brought the CSIs in, and Danny and Lindsay quickly made another discovery: a live man locked in a trunk. Mike Hess told Flack that he and his friends were 'live action role playing' when the rest of the group locked him in a trunk as a joke. A set of headlights coming into the lot scared them off. Sid and Hawkes determined that the bones in the car belonged to a woman, between the ages of 17 and 25 when she died, and Sid put time of death at approximately three weeks ago. The car's VIN plate led Stella and Danny to Elizabeth Barker, whose husband Steve reported the car stolen that morning. When Steve came back from a walk with the couple's newborn son, he was surprised to find the CSIs there not for the car theft but a murder. Adam found prints on the junkyard's severed lock that matched to a man with a record for assault named Reggie Dunham, but Dunham, a surly character who tried unsuccessfully to frame Mac and Flack for police brutality, told the pair that he simply broke in to lift parts from cars. Sid and Hawkes found blood on the driver's side door handle and determined that the victim died due to blunt force trauma to the head. The doctors also noticed markings from a knife on the victim's vertebrae that were made post mortem. Danny was able to reconstruct the victim's face using the reassembled skull, while Adam found a silver spoon in her pocket and a card for Life Systems medical clinic with the name of Dr. Lori Hinton on it. Danny and Stella went to question Hinton, who can't recall the victim, but Danny was shocked to see Lindsay in the clinic. She ran away before he could ask her what she was doing there.



When he got back to the lab, Danny waited for Lindsay to return while he ran DNA on the blood from the car and discovered it was a familial match for their victim. Adam discovered the antibiotic tetracycline in the victim's remains, while Hawkes discovered the victim was pregnant at the time of her death--and that her child was cut from her body. Lindsay finally returned to the lab and Danny confronted her only to have her reveal shocking news: she's pregnant. As Danny reeled from the news, Lindsay noticed the facial reconstruction of the victim and recognized her as a woman she met at the clinic a few weeks ago: Nicole Harris. As Danny watched, Stella and Mac gave her parents, Andrea and Jim, the sad news. They had kicked Nicole out of their home in Albany seven months ago when they learned she was pregnant. Hawkes discovered that Lori Hinton had written Nicole's prescription for tetracycline, so Stella and Danny went back to the clinic, where the doctor claimed to see so many patients that she couldn't remember all of them. Her phone records revealed multiple calls to the Barkers--including a recent one just after the CSIs finished questioning her--and DNA on the spoon found in Nicole's pocket matched Steve Barker. The CSIs arrest Steve, but his wife has already fled with Nicole's baby. Steve tells them Elizabeth was desperate for a baby and her childhood friend, Lori Hinton, helped broker a deal for the baby with Nicole, who originally came to the clinic for an abortion. When Nicole changed her mind, the Barkers fought with her, and Nicole fell down the stairs. She was dead, and Steve feared the ambulance would never get there in time, so he cut the baby from her body and hid it in his car, until it started to decompose, leading him to dump the car and report it stolen. Elizabeth was found in a gas station bathroom with the baby; Stella talked her down and took the child from the devastated woman. Danny finishes up his story, revealing his audience is Nicole's parents. Hands touching slightly, Danny and Lindsay watch as Mac and Stella give the Harris their grandson.
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