Sara and Grissom investigate the death of a woman, Kaye Shelton, found wrapped in a blanket in the mountains. With no way to confirm the time of death, Grissom relies on the insects found on her body to establish a timeline. Catherine and Warrick work on a case of a stolen painting. Nick works solo on a case of a missing wife.
- Campers find the bug infested body of a woman. "They're paper wasps. They're having too much fun to worry about us." Grissom names a variety of beatles, naming them after The Beatles, and keeps them alive with hot coffee and beef jerky. As it turns out, the woman was in a long-term, abusive relationship, and killed in an urban area.
Grissom gets excited about his insects. Sara says, "bare with me. You're one of 10 guys in the country who understands this stuff." To which, Grissom replies, "Well, I think there's at least 15, but go on." He then explains the basic forensics.
The husband, Scott Shelton, claims to have nothing to hide. Searching the house, Sara notes how little of Kaye's things are present. Grissom finds evidence of a green blanket, like the one Kaye was wrapped in, no longer on the couch. Brass determines that the husband's gun has recently been cleaned. Mr. Shelton comes up with an explanation for every discovery.
After Sara finds evidence of blood, she and Mr. Shelton scream at each other. "I am a woman, I have a gun, and look at how he treated me. I can only imagine how he treated his wife."
Grissom determines that Kaye Shelton had been dead for 3 days, and Sara is disappointed that the team couldn't have found the husband guilty. Grissom checks the blanket, and determines that it took the insects an extra 2 days to start breeding in the corpse.
The D.A. refuses to use the insects as sole evidence, so Grissom and Sara return to the body. They determine that a blue dust surounding the entry wound, which was made by the teflon in the types of bullets that Mr. Shelton uses. Brass arrests Mr. Shelton.
Grissom assigns Catherine and Warrick the missing Paul Sorenson, last seen at the home of Richard Zeigler. Warrick has a court date, testifying about chain of custody. As it turns out, the Paul Sorenson was a painting. Mr. Zeigler thinks he walked in on the robber, who had disengaged the security alarm.
Dusting for prints, Warrick thinks he has found an ear print. Mr. Zeigler lines up all of the family to have their ears printed. The print matches a son, Jason, who has the painting in the trunk of his car. Mr. Zeigler decides to not press charges.
Catherine feels that there's more to the story, and Warrick has to go. Ecklie tells Grissom that Warrick was gambling at the Masino instead of being in court. Grissom has Sara look in to it, and she finds that he was, in fact, in the casino.
Catherine investigates further, and discovers that the painting is a forgery. The two go to Jason's dorm room and recover the real Sorenson. The son had been switching out the million dollar paintings for his fakes, partially because it amused him to know his father didn't know the difference. This time, Mr. Zeigler presses charges on his son.
Nick is assigned to the case of Sheryl Appleton, whose husband reported her missing. Det. Secula, with whom Nick had dinner the previous week, is also working this case. Red hairs were found in the trunk of the car, but the rest of the car was wiped clean. Mrs. Appleton's credit card was used, and several police officers race to the scene. They find her in the midst of having an affair in a motel room.