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|Writer||Brian L. Davidson|
|Original Airdate||October 9, 2011|
|Previous Episode: Stiff|
|Next Episode: Look Who's Taunting|
Blown Away is the third episode in season ten of CSI: Miami.
Solving the death of a Dade University co-ed becomes more complicated when the crime scene is destroyed by a tornado, but the investigation soon focuses on a team of storm chasers after a second badly injured person is discovered.
A nasty storm has settled over Miami, causing at least three tornadoes to touch down around the city. Ryan and Walter respond to a call at a trailer park, which is within a tornado evacuation zone. They find a dead woman’s body, but the crime scene gets destroyed when a tornado passes through and tears the trailer park apart. Ryan is injured and taken to the hospital, and the rest of the team works to find their victim and locate any evidence that can help them figure out what happened to the young woman.
Natalia finds a man “scavenging” through the debris, and he has a golf bag. Walter and Ryan saw this bag next to the victim, and it may have contained their murder weapon. A rescue dog locates the young woman’s body impaled on the branches of a tree. The victim is Ellie Sutton, and she was hit repeatedly before she died. Dr Loman confirms that a golf club could be their murder weapon. Ellie’s parents arrive, and they deny that the body could belong to their daughter. Ellie is supposed to be on campus at Dade University, and they had no idea she came home the night before. They walked right by her room when they were getting ready to evacuate, but they didn’t see her sleeping inside.
The scavenger from the trailer park had a strange metal dish in his possession when they caught him, so Walter and Natalia study it and discover that its purpose is to collect weather data. They tie it back to a pair of storm chasers, Ronnie and Leon. These men say they left the dish at the trailer park to collect information about the storm, but their hard drive was erased. Walter is able to recover the footage and sees a car at the trailer park around the time of Ellie’s murder. The car traces back to Travis Renner, Ellie’s boyfriend and an ROTC cadet. They kept their relationship private because cadets aren’t allowed to date. He says Ellie was homesick the night before, and he got worried about her when she wouldn’t answer her phone. He went to the trailer park to check on her, but after 20 minutes with no answer, he left. It’s obvious that he’s not telling the whole story.
Eric prepares to leave the trailer park after searching for survivors, and he sees a small dog with bloody paws. He follows the trail of pawprints back to a man who is badly injured but alive. He pulls a piece of ripstop nylon from the man’s wound, which Calleigh identifies as a parachute that would be attached to a weather-testing probe. The probe was shot from a potato gun, and the probe is still stuck inside the man’s neck. He will have to get surgery to remove it.
The probe is used to measure barometric pressure, and they can tell from the recorded readings that the man was shot a half hour before the tornado hit. This was no accident. The team speaks to the storm chasers, who identify the man as Jared Boyleston, a radio station weatherman. He was working with the storm chasers, and they say they left him behind because he didn’t come back in time—they thought he went back to his own car before the weather turned bad. The team finds a bag of valuables in Jared’s car, and it looks like he used his partnership with the storm chasers to get access to abandoned houses and rob them.
Ellie is pregnant, and Horatio contacts Travis’s commanding officer to let him know. Travis is upset—he’ll be discharged for this, and Horatio has ruined his life. Natalia wonders if he told Ellie she was ruining his life by being pregnant, and if he went after her this morning to ensure she wouldn’t get him in trouble. He admits that they fought the night before, and that’s why she went home, but he denies killing her. He went there to apologize.
A smudge on Ellie’s cheek contains ketchup, flour and steel wool. Ketchup and flour can be used to make a homemade brass polish, which is something an ROTC cadet would know. Travis finally tells them everything: he saw Ellie get attacked, but he did nothing to save her. He’s a coward. However, he can identify the people who are responsible for Ellie’s death. Ronnie and Leon were robbing the trailer when Ellie came out of the bedroom and confronted them, and Ronnie picked up a golf club and hit her repeatedly. Jared tried to help her, and he ran to call 911 when he realized what Ronnie had done. Leon followed him with the potato gun and shot him with the probe to keep him from calling the police—unfortunately for Leon and Ronnie, Jared’s call went through before he was shot.
The team picks up the storm chasers, and Ronnie tries to plant the seeds of reasonable doubt by blaming Leon for everything. He claims it will be a ‘he said, he said’ case, but Leon decides to tell the whole truth. He admits to attacking Jared, but he says Ronnie killed Ellie. He can’t be a part of this anymore.
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Adam Rodríguez as Eric Delko
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista
- Omar Benson Miller as Walter Simmons
Guest Cast Edit
- Christian Clemenson as Tom Loman
- Hayley Chase as Ellie Sutton
- Louis Herthum as Grant Sutton
- Valerie Dillman as Laura Sutton
- Phillip Jeanmarie as Jared Boyleston
- Bernardo de Paula as Leon Perez
- Jamie Bamber as Ronnie Hale
- Stephen Monroe Taylor as Mike Channing
- Chris Sheffield as Travis Renner
- Celeste Creel as Nurse
- Aaron Norvell as Handler
- Tom Riordan as Commander