|Writer||Doreen J. Blauschild|
|Original Airdate||October 2, 2011|
|Previous Episode: Countermeasures|
|Next Episode: Blown Away|
Stiff is the second episode of season 10 of CSI: Miami.
The team tries to figure out who killed a male escort who was found in a hotel cabana.
Natalia and Ryan arrive at the Hotel Ember, where they find the body of Derek Vaughn in a poolside cabana. He was hit over the head multiple times with a heavy object, but the murder weapon is not in the cabana. However, they do find several long hairs and a box of condoms.
Derek has been renting the cabana by the week for the past six months. It was $2000 a day, and he paid by check. When they look at the checks, they realize he’s a gigolo. His only client the night before was a married woman named Gretchen Cambridge. Her husband doesn’t know she’s been having a longterm relationship with Derek, and she says she doesn’t care about the other women who paid Derek for sex. When they were together, she felt like she was the only woman in the world.
Someone damaged the propane shut-off valve on the fireplace in the cabana, causing a leak that filled the building with gas. The head injury only incapacitated Derek, leaving him vulnerable on the floor. The propane displaced the oxygen in his lungs, suffocating him. The only way for the leak to go unnoticed is if the gas was lacking the necessary additives to give it a distinctive smell. The hotel started struggling when the economy took a downturn, so the owner, Hector Romero, was looking for ways to save money—like buying inexpensive, illegal propane. He’s going to be charged with negligent homicide.
Calleigh finds a piece of singed paper in the cabana. It’s a parking pass from a high school, and it belongs to a teacher named Emma Davis. She was a virgin until she met Derek. She had a good time, and he made her feel special. However, she saw him arguing with another man at the hotel, and she thinks he’s another gigolo. Joe Grafton argued with Derek about clients, and he says Derek has been taking his business. This makes him suspect number one.
There are flakes in Derek’s head wound from a snow globe. Joe says some of the women give them gifts, and Natalia and Walter go through financial records until they find a client who purchased a snow globe: Gretchen bought one in Paris. They find a piece of glass and a hammer with some white flakes in the garage, so Gretchen confesses. She says she killed Derek by hitting him on the back of the head, but that’s not how he was injured—she’s covering for her husband Steven, who suspected she was cheating and saw her with Derek. He confronted the man, asking him to stop seeing his wife, but he lost control when he saw the snow globe. Steven saw his wife buy that in Paris, and he assumed it was for him. Gretchen thought her husband stopped loving her, but he never did. Steven admits to hurting Derek, but he says he didn’t go anywhere near the fireplace.
They reassemble the fireplace valve and find a piece of leather from the sole of a shoe. The killer kicked the valve, and it would have taken two hours for the level of propane in the cabana to become deadly. The killer must have known the gas had no scent. Hector made a lot of money from Derek, so he had no reason to kill him. Hector’s daughter Luisa, however, runs the day to day business of the hotel, and she knew about the illegal propane as well. She kicked the valve while wearing open-toed shoes and got frostbite on her toe. She says she was dating Derek, and she thought she could handle it. She asked him to quit because she was falling in love with him, and she couldn’t handle seeing those checks. She knew he wasn’t going to stop, so she kicked the valve thinking he and the next woman who paid for his services would die when he lit the fireplace.
- 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