|Original Airdate||October 3, 2005|
|Previous Episode: Blood in the Water|
|Next Episode: 48 Hours to Life|
Prey is the third episode in season four of CSI: Miami.
Tina Saunders reports missing Sara Jennings, a Georgia classmate age 18 on the Miami first leg of a Bahamas 'ultimate student dream trip'. Sara's rental, illegally provided by Ted Griffin's travel agency, is founded abandoned, with traces of blood and a spy-camera. It shows her and Brad, the bouncer of the night club where Tina claims to have left her 'early' at 2PM, but traces later to the hotel-room of her overprotective step-dad. Someone saw her dump her purse, indicating she was was drugged with a novel power drink. Sara's corps is found, died recently. She had sex during an after-party on Jeff Marshall's yacht, with his mate Thomas Woodward. Confusing forensics pile up, but are hard to process.
After Sarah Jennings, an eighteen-year-old Georgia girl on a class spring break trip, goes missing after a night of partying, Horatio vows to find her. Tina Saunders, Sarah's friend, claims that she left Sarah at Liquid Neon, the club they were drinking at, at 2am. The car Sarah rented is found with blood and vomit around it, and Ryan discovers a hidden camera in the car, which transmits to a laptop in the trunk. The car is registered to Ocean World Travel, the company running the spring break trip. Ted Griffith, the owner of the company, admits he rented the car to Sarah in order to be competitive, but insists he had the kids on the trip sign a behavior agreement. He denies having anything to do with the camera that was found in the car.
Ryan tells Calleigh the footage from the camera was sent out as a wireless signal. They view the footage and see a drunk Sarah fooling around in the backseat with a man they identify as Brad Walker. Brad admits to being in the car, but denies hurting Sarah. He says the blood by the car is his--Sarah elbowed him when a man approached the car and demanded Brad leave. Calleigh takes prints from the outside of his hands to match them to prints found on the window of the car, but Brad's prints don't match those on the window. Elsewhere in the lab, Natalia Boa Vista brings Horatio a cold case--one he was the arresting officer on. Horatio calls a woman named Jennifer and tells her to stay put before sending Officer Jessop over to her house to watch over her.
Sarah's purse is discovered near the beach by a jogger, who says a girl matching Sarah's description dropped it and ran half an hour ago. Delko finds an adderine pill inside--it's a medication for ADD, which Sarah has no history of. The pill leads Horatio and Tripp back to Ted Griffith, who admits he sold the pills to enhance his company's vacation packages. When Horatio sees red bottlebrush needles by the feet of Griffith's blonde secretary, he realizes that she discarded the purse, not Sarah. She confesses that Griffith ordered her to do it. Both are arrested. A red stain on Sarah's purse is identified as a new kind of alcohol being test marketed at the club, and the rep, Valerie Nordoff is brought in. She admits to plying Sarah with drinks, trying to get her into the drink. She recalls Sarah talking to a bunch of guys, including one with the last name Marshall, who wanted her to get on his boat.
Tripp and Horatio corner Jeff on the pier near his boat. Horatio notices vomit on the boat and on Jeff's jeans and shoes, and Jeff asks for a lawyer. As Tripp and Horatio haul Jeff away, Sarah's stepfather, Paul Jennings, approaches and starts screaming at Jeff. Horatio tells him to go back to his hotel, and the man reluctantly complies. When Jeff gets his lawyer, he tells them that Sarah and her friend Tina were on his boat, but they both left alive. This leads Horatio back to Tina--if she was on Jeff's boat with Sarah, she didn't leave Sarah at the club at 2am. Tina admits to lying because she was afraid of getting cited for violating the behavior agreement. She and Sarah left the boat and passed out outside, but she doesn't remember where. The CSIs take samples and discover heavy sand grains on her, which leads them to a playground. Delko finds Sarah's body in the bushes near a swing set. Horatio, chagrined, apologizes to Sarah for not being able to save her.
In the morgue, Alexx determines that Sarah was strangled. Calleigh asks her to hold off on the autopsy and run a sex assault test instead. Calleigh examines Sarah's clothes, noting that she may have been redressed. She takes the large buttons from Sarah's shirt in the hopes of getting prints off them. A look at Sarah's clothes with the UV light reveals splatter covering her clothes and body. In the AV lab, Dan Cooper traces the signal from the camera in the car to a computer in town--at the hotel where Sarah's parents are staying. Sarah's stepfather was spying on her, but when questioned he claims he was just trying to protect her. He scared Brad away from the car and argued with Sarah but she stormed off. In the DNA lab, Valera tells Calleigh that Sarah did have sex before she died, but that she was only able to recover one sperm sample. Calleigh authorizes her to test it, even though it could make the case harder to try later on. Valera matches the sample to a man named Thomas Woodward.
Thomas turns out to be Jeff's friend, and both are brought in. Each claims the other was the last one with Sarah, and that the other wanted her. Jeff's prints showed up on Sarah's buttons, so the CSIs aren't sure whom to believe. Calleigh and Delko decide to go back to the crime scene. Elsewhere in the lab, Stetler approaches Horatio and complains about Officer Jessop's overtime working on the cold case. Horatio brushes him off, telling him to put the cost on his tab.
Calleigh and Delko return to the playground where they get a break: an automatic sprinkler pops up in the area where Sarah's body was discovered. The CSIs test both men's clothes. Horatio brings them together for the final interrogation. Jeff's prints were on Sarah's buttons--he came across her body and buttoned her shirt when he saw she was dead, but it was Thomas who killed her. The sprinkler water--treated with a specific chemical--is all over his clothes, and on his hands in the exact place he held Sarah's wrists down. The case closed, Horatio goes to Jennifer's house and takes over the watch from Officer Jessop.
- 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
- David Lee Smith as Rick Stetler
- Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
- Brendan Fehr as Dan Cooper
- Joel West as Officer Aaron Jessop
- Sarah Mason as Sarah Jennings
- Ryan Doom as Club Guy
- Christine Woods as Valerie Nordoff
- Erica Hubbard as Tina Saunders
- Timothy Omundson as Ted Griffin
- Danielle Stratton as Hannah
- Jason Olive as Brad Walker
- Shelli Bergh as Paula Muro
- Sam Page as Jeff Marshall
- Dar Dixon as Daniel Feldman
- Brendan Fehr as Dan Cooper
- Stacey Travis as Faith Jennings
- Patrick St. Esprit as Paul Jennings
- Mark Matkevich as Thomas Woodward