|Original Airdate||October 16, 2006|
|Previous Episode: If Looks Could Kill|
|Next Episode: Curse of the Coffin|
Death Eminent is the fifth episode in season five of CSI: Miami.
The body of a local politician is found in an empty house. The entire neighborhood was upset that he was backing the use of eminent domain, allowing the government to force them out of their homes. During the period of investigation, some members of the team have to deal with their enemies in the past while some have to come to terms with the nature of the profession they are pursuing.
The bloated body of a man is discovered in an empty house on Cobalt Drive in Coral Gables, right alongside the ocean, by a man named Daniel Wells, who calls it in after his dog found decomposing remains. Alexx determines the man has been dead for four days. Ryan discovers an ID in his briefcase identifying him as Councilman Chad Bridges. DNA on the briefcase leads the CSIs to a man living next door to the house named Gary Logan, who is preparing to leave Miami in his boat. He admits to stealing a few things out of the case, but denies murdering the man, something Calleigh and Natalia find hard to believe when they discover a grave in his backyard with fat deposits in it.
Alexx notes the shallow stab wounds on Bridges' body, and also points out bite marks from a canine on the man's arm. Recalling Daniel Wells had a dog, Ryan returns to the neighborhood where he discovers Daniel's son Austin fighting with two deputies, who are trying to evict his neighbor, Timothy Nash. A private company, Apius Conglomerate, has bought all the houses on Cobalt Drive at fifty percent of cost after a judicial decision allowed the city to seize the homes and sell them to Apius. Ryan clashes with Deputy Biggs, the man in charge, but isn't able to divert him from his purpose. When the CSIs track down Daniel Wells, he admits his dog bit Bridges after he was caught trespassing on their property, presumably trying to decide which way to vote on the eminent domain conflict with Apius.
Horatio tracks down William Preston, the head of Apius, who shares his plans to turn Cobalt Drive into a tourist attraction, complete with hotels and spas. The Wells' are the next to be evicted, and a frantic Austin calls Ryan. Ryan again tries to reason with Biggs, but when he's unsuccessful, he shoves the deputy, causing Biggs to threaten him with a complaint. Ryan turns to newswoman Erica Sikes for information, and she tells him Bridges was against the city exercising the eminent domain laws to sell the houses on Cobalt Lane to Apius. Delko and Ryan investigate evidence in vandalism cases on Cobalt and discover that Timothy Nash was responsible. He admits he was paid off by Preston to commit crimes that would bring property values in the neighborhood down. Horatio confronts Preston about his machinations, but they're interrupted by a frantic man with a gun who claims Preston has taken everything from him. Horatio is able to talk him down and seize the gun.
Horatio confronts an old nemesis, Judge Joseph Ratner, who presided over the eminent domain case, and tells the judge he believes he profited from the case. Back at the lab, Natalia identifies the DNA in the grave in Logan's yard as belonging to a missing girl named Marta Argenta. Calleigh has the sad duty of informing the uncle who raised her about her death. He's heartbroken, and tells Calleigh she was the child of his seventeen-year-old sister. Natalia can't find a connection between Logan and Marta, but Delko discovers Marta's body in a suitcase on Logan's boat. Alexx boils the girls' bones to discover she was beaten to death, and also notes that her skull indicates she was at least partially of African American descent. Tool marks on Marta's bones match a tool Logan owned, but he refuses to admit the reason he killed her.
Horatio tells Ryan he was able to get Biggs to drop the complaint, but cautions him that next time he might not be able to help. Nick, Natalia's ex-husband, brings her a major piece of evidence in the Bridges' case: a wedding ring he found by the bodily fluids he was cleaning up in the house. Natalia traces it to Julia Wells, who admits that she was with Bridges--she asked him to meet her at the house to seduce him and get him to vote against eminent domain. She took off her wedding ring but wasn't able to go through with it. She denies killing him, and Ryan's suspicions fall on Austin. A pocket knife he carries tests positive for blood, and the boy breaks down and confesses to stabbing Bridges after seeing his mother exiting the house.
Still bothered by the lack of connection between Marta and Logan, Calleigh asks Valera to run her DNA in the system on Horatio's recommendation. The results reveal that Marta was the daughter of none other than Judge Ratner. Horatio takes the findings to the judge and tells him he's put it together. Marta's mother, Carmen, was once in Ratner's courtroom; years later, Marta tried to contact him to tell him he was her father. Horatio now knows why Gary Logan was given the full value of his property while his neighbors only got half of theirs: Ratner paid him to murder his daughter and keep his secret safe. Horatio has Ratner arrested for the crime, and Calleigh stands by Marta's uncle as her body is finally laid to rest. Horatio tells Daniel Wells that his home is safe--and that his son needs him more than ever.
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Adam Rodríguez as Eric Delko
- Khandi Alexander as Alexx Woods
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista